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      Molecular characterization and identification of Bacillus clausii Strains marketed for use in oral bacteriotherapy.

      Applied and Environmental Microbiology
      American Society for Microbiology

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          A substantial number of Bacillus species have been marketed for use in oral bacteriotherapy because of their purported ability to prevent or treat various gastrointestinal disorders. Recently, some of the Bacillus strains in Enterogermina, which is made up of aqueous suspensions of viable Bacillus spores, have been partially characterized and aligned with members of the Bacillus alcalophilus subgroup rather than with Bacillus subtilis, as previously reported. With a view toward verifying the original taxonomic position of the Enterogermina strains, we catalogued both phenotypic and genotypic traits exhibited by the four Bacillus strains isolated from the spore mixtures found in original commercial preparations dated 1975 and 1984 and commercial preparations now being propagated industrially. Analyses of physiological and biochemical traits, complete 16S rRNA gene sequences, DNA-DNA reassociation, tRNA intergenic spacer length polymorphism, single-strand conformation polymorphism of PCR-amplified spacer regions of tRNA genes, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA led to the finding that all of the Enterogermina strains belong to a unique genospecies, which is unequivocally identified as the alkalitolerant species Bacillus clausii. Moreover, we provide evidence that in contrast to several reference strains of B. clausii, the strains constituting Enterogermina are characterized by a notable low level of intraspecific genome diversity and that each strain has remained the same for the last 25 years.

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