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Biosafety assessment of probiotics used for human consumption: recommendations from the EU-PROSAFE project
Trends in Food Science and Technology
On June 26-27, 2006, 60 academic and industry scientists gathered during the PROSAFE workshop to discuss recommendations on taxonomy, antibiotic resistance, in vitro assessment of virulence and in vivo assessment of safety of probiotics used for human consumption. For identification of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) intended for probiotic use, it was recommended that conventional biochemical methods should be complemented with molecular methods and that these should be performed by an expert lab. Using the newly developed LAB Susceptibility test Medium (LSM), tentative epidemiological cut-off values were proposed. It was recommended that potentially probiotic strains not belonging to the wildtype distributions of relevant antimicrobials should not be developed as future products for human or animal consumption. Furthermore, it was recommended that the use of strains harbouring known and confirmed virulence genes should be avoided. Finally, for in vivo assessment of safety by investigating strain pathogenicity in animal models, the rat endocarditis model appeared to be the most reliable model tested in the PROSAFE project. Moreover, consensus was reached for approving the necessity of a human colonisation study in a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind design; however, further discussions are needed on the details of such as study.
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