Some probiotic properties of Lactobacillus species isolated from honey and their antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogens

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Pathobiology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran‎

3 Food Microbiology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical ‎Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Lactobacilli commonly used as a probiotic and they can be isolated from various sources such as fermented foods and gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. The aims of this study were isolation and identification of lactobacilli from honey and investigation of some probiotic properties and antimicrobial effects against foodborne bacterial pathogens. A total of 88 honey samples were collected from different areas in Iran. About 1.00 g of each honey was cultured in de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe (MRS) broth and then sub-cultured on MRS agar. The isolates were assessed for probiotic potentials such as tolerance to acid and bile. Then, antimicrobial activity of isolates against seven foodborne pathogens including Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella flexneri, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enteritidis, Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli O157 H7 and Bacillus cereus was investigated. From 88 honey samples, 39 isolates were identified by 16S rDNA gene sequencing method. Fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB) with 29 (74.00%) isolates were dominant identified bacteria (27 L. kunkeei and two Fructobacillus fructosus). Also, four L. plantarum, two L. paracasei, one L. brevis, one L. rhamnosus, one L. casei and one L. fermentum were identified. Two L. kunkeei isolates and one F. fructosus isolate were resistant to acid and bile salt. Two L. rhamnosus isolates and one L. paracasei isolate inhibited all pathogens (100%). This is the first study in Iran that isolated lactobacilli from honey. The FLAB especially L. kunkeei were isolated as dominated species from honey. Some lactobacilli isolates have probiotic potential and may be useful for the prevention and treatment of infections, but more investigations are needed.