Bifidobacterium animalis

name = "Bifidobacterium animalis"

image_width =
image_caption =
regnum = Bacteria
divisio = Firmicutes
classis = Actinobacteria
ordo = Bifidobacteriales
familia = Bifidobacteriaceae
genus = "Bifidobacterium"
species = "B. animalis"
binomial = "Bifidobacterium animalis"
binomial_authority = (Mitsuoka 1969)
Scardovi and Trovatelli 1974
subdivision_ranks = Subspecies
subdivision = "B. a. animalis"
"B. a. lactis"

"Bifidobacterium animalis" is a Gram-positive anaerobic rod-shaped bacterium, which can be found in the large intestines of most mammals, including humans.

"Bifidobacterium animalis" and "Bifidobacterium lactis" were previously described as two distinct species. Presently, both are considered "B. animalis" with the subspecies "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp "animalis" and "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp "lactis". [ [ Bifidobacterium ] ] [cite journal
last = Masco
first = Liesbeth
author = Liesbeth Masco
authorlink =
coauthors = Marco Ventura, Ralf Zink, Geert Huys1 and Jean Swings
date =
year = 2004
month = July
title = Polyphasic taxonomic analysis of "Bifidobacterium animalis" and "Bifidobacterium lactis" reveals relatedness at the subspecies level: reclassification of "Bifidobacterium animalis" as "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "animalis" subsp. nov. and "Bifidobacterium lactis" as "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "lactis" subsp. nov.
journal = Int J Syst Evol Microbiol
volume = 54
issue = part 4
pages = 1137–1143
issn =
pmid = 15280282
doi = 10.1099/ijs.0.03011-0
id =
url =
language =
format =
accessdate = 2007-07-14
] [Rapid Identification, Differentiation, and Proposed New Taxonomic Classification of Bifidobacterium lactis. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 December; 68(12): 6429–6434.]

Both old names "B. animalis" and "B. lactis" are still used on product labels, as this species is frequently used as a probiotic. In most cases it is not clear which subspecies is used in the product.

Trade names

Several companies have attempted to trademark specific subspecies and as a marketing technique, renaming the subspecies with scientific sounding names.
Danone (Dannon) have claimed trademark status on the subspecies strain DN 173 010 and markets the organism as Bifidus Digestivum (UK), Bifidus Regularis (US and Mexico), Bifidobacterium Lactis or B.L. Regularis (Canada), DanRegularis (Brazil) and Bifidus Actiregularis (Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Russia and Spain). Scientifically, the correct strain is identified as "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "animalis", strain DN-173 010.

Chr. Hansen Ltd from Denmark has a similar claim on the species "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "lactis", strain BB-12. It is marketed both as "Bifidobacterium animalis" and "Bifidobacterium lactis", however, the true scientific name of the strain is "Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "lactis".

Health benefits

It is worth noting that many scientific studies are funded by companies that produce products which contain the substance being studied, which can lead to doubts about the impartiality of these studies. The bodies that have funded the research below are not listed.

"Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "lactis", strain BB-12:
* Effects of Bifidobacterium animalis Bb12 Supplementation on Intestinal Microbiota of Preterm Infants: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study. "J Clin Microbiol. 2006 November; 44(11): 4025–4031. "
* Adherence of Probiotic Bacteria to Human Intestinal Mucus in Healthy Infants and during Rotavirus Infection. "Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 March; 8(2): 293–296."
* Innate mechanisms for Bifidobacterium lactis to activate transient pro-inflammatory host responses in intestinal epithelial cells after the colonization of germ-free rats. Immunology. 2005 August; 115(4): 441–450.

"Bifidobacterium animalis" subsp. "animalis", strain DN-173 010:
* A fermented milk with Bifidobacterium probiotic strain DN-173 010 shortened oro-fecal gut transit time in elderly. "Microb Ecology Health Dis,2001; 13: 217-222."
* Bifidobacterium animalis, strain DN-173 010 shortens the colonic transit time in healthy women. A double-blind randomised controlled study. "Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 2002; 16: 587-593."
* Bouvier M, et al. “Effects of consumption of a milk fermented by the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 on colonic transit time in healthy humans. "Bioscience and Microflora, 2001; Vol 20(2): 43-48."


External links

* [] - A deconstruction of the terms Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, L. Casei Imunitas and their variants, as well as the marketing strategy, and information about the potential health benefits of live yogurts.
* [] - How to select a probiotic

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