Effect of pH in the survival of Lactobacillus salivarius strain UCO_979C wild type and the pH acid acclimated variant
Background Bacterial acclimation involves cellular changes permitting the survival of a microorganism to prolonged acid pH exposure. The general aim of this work is to support this idea by determining the effect of pH in the survival of the human gastric derived probiotic strain Lactobacillus salivarius UCO_979C-1 (wild type) and L. salivarius UCO_979C-2 (acclimation to pH 2.6), which possesses anti-Helicobacter pylori properties. Results To assess this aim, the exopolysaccharide production through the phenol-sulfuric acid method was evaluated. Moreover, morphological and structural changes by transmission and scanning electron microscopy were observed. The bacterial survival was measured by viable count. The results showed that the acclimated variant strain synthesized higher levels of exopolysaccharide (690 ± 0.03 mg/L) more than the wild type (450 ± 0.12 mg/L). In addition, the acclimated variant preserved the viable count at pH 2.6 for 48 h, whereas the wild type strain decreases after 6 h and was non-viable at 24 h. Conclusion The results suggest that the acid stress acclimation of the strain L. salivarius UCO_979C-1 modified some cellular properties making this strain potentially useful as a gastric probiotic.