Probiotics Help Runners and Bullfrogs Alike

American Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Side 1800px
A Lactococcus helps protect bullfrogs from pathogens.
This week on BBS, changes in skin microflora are probably not responsible for sensitive skin, runners get a boost with probiotics and a lactococcus keeps bullfrog hatcheries disease-free.

Sensitive Skin Has Normal Microflora

Individuals with sensitive skin can have extreme reactions to harmless substances. Researchers from France wished to know if this was a result of changes in the skin microflora. To answer this question, they collected a number of skin bacterial samples from both normal and sensitive individuals. Bacteria species were then identified using a MALDI-Biotyper; a machine that recognizes molecular signatures of bacteria using techniques similar to those used in mass spectrometry. They found that there were no differences in the bacteria populations between normal and sensitive individuals.

Probiotics Instead of Gatorade?

Probiotics are known to improve intestinal function by reducing intestinal permeability and inflammation. A group of Australian researchers suspected that these benefits might actually be helpful to runners performing in extreme heat conditions. To test this concept, they supplemented ten male runners with Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and Streptococci species. After four weeks of treatment, the probiotics significantly improved the runner’s ability to run in the heat by increasing the time to fatigue by almost four minutes.

Probiotics for Bullfrogs

In Argentina, bullfrogs are grown for meat consumption. These hatcheries are often vulnerable to Citrobacter freundii and Listeria monocytogenes infections. In an effort to find ways to control this problem, Argentinian researchers discovered that the bacteria Lactococcus lactis CRL 1584, isolated from a hatchery, is capable of controlling the pathogens by producing an antimicrobial protein. This protein appeared to by bactericidal in nature and caused direct damage to the cell wall and cytoplasm of the pathogenic bacteria.