In vitro assessment of marine Bacillus for use as livestock probiotics

Maria Luz Prieto, Laurie O'Sullivan, Shiau Pin Tan, Peter McLoughlin, Helen Hughes, Montserrat Gutierrez, Jonathan A. Lane, Rita M. Hickey, Peadar G. Lawlor, Gillian E. Gardiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Six antimicrobial-producing seaweed-derived Bacillus strains were evaluated in vitro as animal probiotics, in comparison to two Bacillus from an EU-authorized animal probiotic product. Antimicrobial activity was demonstrated on solid media against porcine Salmonella and E. coli. The marine isolates were most active against the latter, had better activity than the commercial probiotics and Bacillus pumilus WIT 588 also reduced E. coli counts in broth. All of the marine Bacillus tolerated physiological concentrations of bile, with some as tolerant as one of the probiotics. Spore counts for all isolates remained almost constant during incubation in simulated gastric and ileum juices. All of the marine Bacillus grew anaerobically and the spores of all except one isolate germinated under anaerobic conditions. All were sensitive to a panel of antibiotics and none harbored Bacillus enterotoxin genes but all, except B. pumilus WIT 588, showed some degree of β-hemolysis. However, trypan blue dye exclusion and xCELLigence assays demonstrated a lack of toxicity in comparison to two pathogens; in fact, the commercial probiotics appeared more cytotoxic than the majority of the marine Bacillus. Overall, some of the marine-derived Bacillus, in particular B. pumilus WIT 588, demonstrate potential for use as livestock probiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2422-2445
Number of pages24
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Antimicrobial
  • E. coli
  • Pigs
  • Spores
  • xCELLigence


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