Characterisation of Probiotic Strains

NCIMB provides a comprehensive service portfolio to support the selection and maintenance of probiotic strains. Packages can be tailored to requirements.

Our broad range of tests and analyses includes antimicrobial resistance screening as well as assessment of the functional characteristics of candidate strains. We can undertake mucin adhesion assessment, auto-aggregation testing, gastric survival assays and biochemical testing. We provide comparative genomics of strains as well as checks for strain drift. We can also safely store an off-site back-up of your key strains.

Mucin adhesion assessment

Mucin-associated bacteria live in close contact with the intestinal epithelium, and have been associated with health benefits. We undertake mucin adhesion assessment, allowing you to understand the capability of your probiotic strains to colonise this environment.

Gastric survival assays

Bacterial strains used in probiotic products must survive the acidic gastric environment if they are to reach the small intestine and colonize the host. At NCIMB we can perform low pH survivability assays in simulated gastric fluid to help you assess the suitability of candidate strains.

Aggregation testing

The auto-aggregation ability of bacteria is an important characteristic with respect to probiotic strains as it is key to maintaining the bacterial population within the gut. At NCIMB we carry out auto-aggregation testing of potential probiotic strains.

Whole genome sequencing and antimicrobial resistance screening

A high-quality whole genome sequence offers the ultimate characterisation and understanding of your probiotic strain. It is a key consideration in the responsible use of microbial supplements and additives, with respect to limiting the spread of antimicrobial resistance, and meets EFSA/FEEDAP guidelines. Our comprehensive genomics package includes whole genome sequencing, assembly and annotation, including prediction of antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors.

Combining predictions from whole-genome sequencing with our lab-based MIC tests helps you understand the potential of intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial resistance.

Comparative genomics and bioinformatics

Whether you need to monitor for strain drift, or separate closely related serovars, our analysis of whole genome sequencing data can give you important context for understanding your strain’s genome.

Rapid 16S identification

Obtain rapid identification of strains with our 16S Sanger sequencing service. With 1-day, 3-day and 10-day turnaround options, we operate our molecular identification service to GMP standards with identifications made on the validated MicroSeqTM database.

Contract research

Is there an assay, not listed here, that you would like developed and delivered by a committed microbiology company? Please get in touch to discuss your research challenges and how our contract research service can help meet your goals.