An in vitro assessment of the effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics on the human gut microflora and concomitant isolation of a Lactobacillus plantarum with anti-Candida activities
Chemostat culture was used to determine the effects of the antimicrobial agents tetracycline and nystatin on predominant components of the human gut microflora. Their addition to mixed culture systems caused a non-specific, and variable, decrease in microbial populations, although tetracycline allowed an increase in numbers of yeasts. Both had a profound inhibitory effect upon populations seen as important for gut health (bifidobacteria, lactobacilli). However, a tetracycline resistant Lactobacillus was enriched from the experiments. A combination of genotypic and phenotypic characterisations confirmed its identity as Lactobacillus plantarum. This strain exerted powerful inhibitory effects against Candida albicans. Because of its ability to resist the effects of tetracycline, this organism may be useful as a probiotic for the improved management of yeast related conditions such as thrush and irritable bowel syndrome.