Blautia spp. as Next Generation Probiotics

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Introduction of Blautia spp.

Blautia species are strictly anaerobic, nonmotile, usually spherical or oval, appear in pairs or chains, 1.0-1.5×1.0-3.0 μm in size, and most strains are sporeless. The optimum temperature and pH for most Blautia strains are 37℃ and 7.0, respectively. The GC content of Blautia DNA is 37-47 mol%. The ability of Blautia to produce bacteriocins has the potential to inhibit the colonization of pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal tract and can affect the composition of intestinal flora, making it a potential probiotic and possible to play the function of probiotics. The following three species have been studied extensively:

Blautia producta is a novel probiotic to exert a prominent antihyperlipidemic effect. Also, it may be a new therapeutic developed for inflammatory bowel disease and other inflammatory disorders.

Blautia wexlerae is a major acetate producer. The animal experiment has shown that butyrate can improve insulin resistance and reduce fat accumulation. Therefore, this may be one of the mechanisms of Blautia wexlerae anti-obesity. It has potential for development in the treatment of metabolic diseases.

Blautia faecis could be developed as a therapeutic drug, either through its supernatant, isolated bioactive compounds, or as an LBP.

The infant gut core microbiota. Fig.1 The infant gut core microbiota. (Milani, 2017)

Relationships Between Blautia spp. and Host Health

Blautia, is a dominant genus in the intestinal flora and is significantly associated with host physiological disorders, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and various inflammatory diseases.

  • The Obesity-related Diseases

One study observed a change in the composition of intestinal microbiota and an increase in the abundance of Blautia in overweight/obese patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver who consumed a low-calorie and high-protein diet for 3 weeks. Blautia was a dominant genus in the intestinal flora of women in the effective weight loss group, but not in the ineffective weight loss group. In another study, the abundance of Blautia decreased significantly in children with diabetes compared with healthy children. A cross-sectional study suggested that Blautia, specifically B. luti and B. wexlerae, may help reduce inflammation associated with obesity-related complications.

  • Inflammatory Diseases

Blautia, as a genus of commensal obligate anaerobic bacteria, plays an important role in maintaining the ecological balance in the intestine and preventing inflammation by upregulating intestinal regulatory T cells and producing SCFAs. Analysis of fecal and mucosal microflora in IBD patients and healthy people showed that the abundance of Blautia was significantly reduced in cecal mucosal microflora in CD patients. Similarly reduced abundance of Blautia has been reported in mucosal adhesion flora of colorectal cancer patients. Despite the lack of clarity on the potential mechanism of Blautia in various diseases, Blautia abundance can still be used as a potential tool for the early diagnosis or treatment of related diseases.

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  1. Milani, C.; et al. The first microbial colonizers of the human gut: composition, activities, and health implications of the infant gut microbiota. Microbiology and molecular biology reviews. 2017, 81(4): e00036-17.

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