Characterisation and differentiation of lactobacilli by lectin typing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Lactobacillus isolates from healthy Estonian and Swedish children were characterised by a lectin typing technique; 56 isolates from six species (L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. fermentum, L. brevis and L. buchneri) were tested. The typing system was based on an agglutination assay with a panel of six commercially available lectins, which,were chosen on the basis of their carbohydrate specificities. The isolates were also subjected to proteolytic degradation before lectin typing to decrease auto-agglutination of whole cells in the assay. The 56 isolates were divided into 15 different lectin types by their lectin agglutination patterns. Proteolytic treatment reduced auto-agglutination for the majority of species, apart from L. acidophilus, which remained predominantly auto-agglutinating (eight of nine strains). The system produced stable and reproducible results under standardised culture conditions. Lactobacilli are important bacteria for use as probiotics and this system may supplement current molecular typing techniques and may help in identification of strains that could be useful in this role.


  • Heidi Annuk
  • Sean O. Hynes
  • Siiri Hirmo
  • Marika Mikelsaar
  • Torkel Wadström
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology in the medical area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1074
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch