Stomacher® 400 used to prepare faeces samples for comparative study of fluorescent in situ hybridization and the current gold standard for intestinal microbiota quantification. In general, a good correlation between the two methods was observed. In order to determine the detection limit and the accuracy of the real-time PCR procedure, germfree rat feces were spiked with known amounts of bifidobacteria and analyzed by both methods. The detection limit of the method used in this study was found to be about 5 _ 104 cells per g of feces. Both methods, real-time PCR and fluorescent in situ hybridization, led to an accurate quantification of the spiked samples with high levels of bifidobacteria, but realtime PCR was more accurate for samples with low levels. The conclusion was that the real-time PCR procedure described here is a specific, accurate, rapid, and easy method for the quantification of bifidobacteria in feces.
LINK between Bifido species and obesity.
Studies at the Catholic University of Louvain have shown differences between the types and numbers of bacteria in the guts of lean and obese people. Researchers worked with a single species of bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila. It normally makes up 3-5% of gut bacteria, but its levels fall in obesity.
Mice on a high fat diet – which led them to put on two to three times more fat than normal, lean, mice – were fed the bacteria.
The mice remained bigger than their lean cousins, but had lost around half of their extra weight despite no other changes to their diet.
They also had lower levels of insulin resistance, a key symptom of Type-2 diabetes.
Prof Patrice Cani, from the Catholic University of Louvain, told the BBC: “Of course it is an improvement, we did not completely reverse the obesity, but it is a very strong decrease in the fat mass.
Prof Colin Hill University College Cork said “I don’t think it’s feasible that you can eat cream cakes and chips and sausages all day long and then eat bacteria to reverse all that.”
“It is the first demonstration that there is a direct link between one specific species and improving metabolism.”