Lactobacillus: A genus of gram-positive, microaerophilic, rod-shaped bacteria occurring widely in nature. Its species are also part of the many normal flora of the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina of many mammals, including humans. Pathogenicity from this genus is rare.Lactobacillus casei: A rod-shaped bacterium isolated from milk and cheese, dairy products and dairy environments, sour dough, cow dung, silage, and human mouth, human intestinal contents and stools, and the human vagina.Lactobacillus acidophilus: A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria isolated from the intestinal tract of humans and animals, the human mouth, and vagina. This organism produces the fermented product, acidophilus milk.Lactobacillus plantarum: A species of rod-shaped, LACTIC ACID bacteria used in PROBIOTICS and SILAGE production.Lactobacillus reuteri: A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped LACTIC ACID bacteria found naturally in the human intestinal flora and BREAST MILK.Lactobacillus rhamnosus: A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria used in PROBIOTICS.Lactobacillus brevis: A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped LACTIC ACID bacteria that is frequently used as starter culture in SILAGE fermentation, sourdough, and lactic-acid-fermented types of beer and wine.Probiotics: Live microbial DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS which beneficially affect the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance. Antibiotics and other related compounds are not included in this definition. In humans, lactobacilli are commonly used as probiotics, either as single species or in mixed culture with other bacteria. Other genera that have been used are bifidobacteria and streptococci. (J. Nutr. 1995;125:1401-12)Lactobacillus fermentum: A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria associated with DENTAL CARIES.Lactobacillus helveticus: A species of gram-positive bacteria isolated from MILK and cheese-starter cultures.Lactobacillus delbrueckii: A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped, facultatively anaerobic bacteria. capable of producing LACTIC ACID. It is important in the manufacture of fermented dairy products.Fermentation: Anaerobic degradation of GLUCOSE or other organic nutrients to gain energy in the form of ATP. End products vary depending on organisms, substrates, and enzymatic pathways. Common fermentation products include ETHANOL and LACTIC ACID.Bifidobacterium: A rod-shaped, gram-positive, non-acid-fast, non-spore-forming, non-motile bacterium that is a genus of the family Bifidobacteriaceae, order Bifidobacteriales, class ACTINOBACTERIA. It inhabits the intestines and feces of humans as well as the human vagina.Vagina: The genital canal in the female, extending from the UTERUS to the VULVA. (Stedman, 25th ed)Antibiosis: A natural association between organisms that is detrimental to at least one of them. This often refers to the production of chemicals by one microorganism that is harmful to another.Vaginosis, Bacterial: Polymicrobial, nonspecific vaginitis associated with positive cultures of Gardnerella vaginalis and other anaerobic organisms and a decrease in lactobacilli. It remains unclear whether the initial pathogenic event is caused by the growth of anaerobes or a primary decrease in lactobacilli.RNA, Ribosomal, 16S: Constituent of 30S subunit prokaryotic ribosomes containing 1600 nucleotides and 21 proteins. 16S rRNA is involved in initiation of polypeptide synthesis.Cultured Milk Products: Milk modified with controlled FERMENTATION. This should not be confused with KAFFIR LIME or with KAFFIR CORN.DNA, Bacterial: Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.Bacteriocins: Substances elaborated by specific strains of bacteria that are lethal against other strains of the same or related species. They are protein or lipopolysaccharide-protein complexes used in taxonomy studies of bacteria.Bread: Baked food product made of flour or meal that is moistened, kneaded, and sometimes fermented. A major food since prehistoric times, it has been made in various forms using a variety of ingredients and methods.Yogurt: A slightly acid milk food produced by fermentation due to the combined action of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus thermophilus.Pediococcus: A genus of gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic bacteria whose growth is dependent on the presence of a fermentable carbohydrate. No endospores are produced. Its organisms are found in fermenting plant products and are nonpathogenic to plants and animals, including humans.Food Microbiology: The presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in food and food products. This term is not restricted to pathogenic organisms: the presence of various non-pathogenic bacteria and fungi in cheeses and wines, for example, is included in this concept.Crop, Avian: A thin-walled distention of the alimentary tract protruding just outside the body cavity in the distal end of the neck (esophagus), used for the temporary storage of food and water.Cheese: A nutritious food consisting primarily of the curd or the semisolid substance formed when milk coagulates.Feces: Excrement from the INTESTINES, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and BACTERIA of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.Sequence Analysis, DNA: A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Lactobacillaceae: A family of gram-positive bacteria found regularly in the mouth and intestinal tract of man and other animals, in food and dairy products, and in fermenting vegetable juices. A few species are highly pathogenic.Gastrointestinal Tract: Generally refers to the digestive structures stretching from the MOUTH to ANUS, but does not include the accessory glandular organs (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).Gardnerella vaginalis: A species in the genus GARDNERELLA previously classified as Haemophilus vaginalis. This bacterium, also isolated from the female genital tract of healthy women, is implicated in the cause of bacterial vaginosis (VAGINOSIS, BACTERIAL).DNA, Ribosomal: DNA sequences encoding RIBOSOMAL RNA and the segments of DNA separating the individual ribosomal RNA genes, referred to as RIBOSOMAL SPACER DNA.Colony Count, Microbial: Enumeration by direct count of viable, isolated bacterial, archaeal, or fungal CELLS or SPORES capable of growth on solid CULTURE MEDIA. The method is used routinely by environmental microbiologists for quantifying organisms in AIR; FOOD; and WATER; by clinicians for measuring patients' microbial load; and in antimicrobial drug testing.Leuconostoc: A genus of gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic bacteria whose growth is dependent on the presence of a fermentable carbohydrate. It is nonpathogenic to plants and animals, including humans.Intestines: The section of the alimentary canal from the STOMACH to the ANAL CANAL. It includes the LARGE INTESTINE and SMALL INTESTINE.Bacterial Adhesion: Physicochemical property of fimbriated (FIMBRIAE, BACTERIAL) and non-fimbriated bacteria of attaching to cells, tissue, and nonbiological surfaces. It is a factor in bacterial colonization and pathogenicity.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.PropaneLactic Acid: A normal intermediate in the fermentation (oxidation, metabolism) of sugar. The concentrated form is used internally to prevent gastrointestinal fermentation. (From Stedman, 26th ed)Phylogeny: The relationships of groups of organisms as reflected by their genetic makeup.Lactobacillus leichmannii: A species of gram-negative bacteria isolated from MILK, cheese, and compressed yeast.Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique: Technique that utilizes low-stringency polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with single primers of arbitrary sequence to generate strain-specific arrays of anonymous DNA fragments. RAPD technique may be used to determine taxonomic identity, assess kinship relationships, analyze mixed genome samples, and create specific probes.Germ-Free Life: Animals not contaminated by or associated with any foreign organisms.Lactococcus: A genus of gram-positive, coccoid bacteria mainly isolated from milk and milk products. These bacteria are also found in plants and nonsterile frozen and dry foods. Previously thought to be a member of the genus STREPTOCOCCUS (group N), it is now recognized as a separate genus.Hydrogen-Ion Concentration: The normality of a solution with respect to HYDROGEN ions; H+. It is related to acidity measurements in most cases by pH = log 1/2[1/(H+)], where (H+) is the hydrogen ion concentration in gram equivalents per liter of solution. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Species Specificity: The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.Bacteria: One of the three domains of life (the others being Eukarya and ARCHAEA), also called Eubacteria. They are unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms which generally possess rigid cell walls, multiply by cell division, and exhibit three principal forms: round or coccal, rodlike or bacillary, and spiral or spirochetal. Bacteria can be classified by their response to OXYGEN: aerobic, anaerobic, or facultatively anaerobic; by the mode by which they obtain their energy: chemotrophy (via chemical reaction) or PHOTOTROPHY (via light reaction); for chemotrophs by their source of chemical energy: CHEMOLITHOTROPHY (from inorganic compounds) or chemoorganotrophy (from organic compounds); and by their source for CARBON; NITROGEN; etc.; HETEROTROPHY (from organic sources) or AUTOTROPHY (from CARBON DIOXIDE). They can also be classified by whether or not they stain (based on the structure of their CELL WALLS) with CRYSTAL VIOLET dye: gram-negative or gram-positive.Metagenome: A collective genome representative of the many organisms, primarily microorganisms, existing in a community.Genes, rRNA: Genes, found in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, which are transcribed to produce the RNA which is incorporated into RIBOSOMES. Prokaryotic rRNA genes are usually found in OPERONS dispersed throughout the GENOME, whereas eukaryotic rRNA genes are clustered, multicistronic transcriptional units.Bacterial Typing Techniques: Procedures for identifying types and strains of bacteria. The most frequently employed typing systems are BACTERIOPHAGE TYPING and SEROTYPING as well as bacteriocin typing and biotyping.Bacterial Load: Measurable quantity of bacteria in an object, organism, or organism compartment.Cecum: The blind sac or outpouching area of the LARGE INTESTINE that is below the entrance of the SMALL INTESTINE. It has a worm-like extension, the vermiform APPENDIX.GlyceraldehydeCarbohydrate Metabolism: Cellular processes in biosynthesis (anabolism) and degradation (catabolism) of CARBOHYDRATES.Streptococcus thermophilus: A species of thermophilic, gram-positive bacteria found in MILK and milk products.Streptococcus: A genus of gram-positive, coccoid bacteria whose organisms occur in pairs or chains. No endospores are produced. Many species exist as commensals or parasites on man or animals with some being highly pathogenic. A few species are saprophytes and occur in the natural environment.Genes, Bacterial: The functional hereditary units of BACTERIA.Synbiotics: Nutritional supplements combining PROBIOTICS (bacteria) and PREBIOTICS (sugars).Teichoic Acids: Bacterial polysaccharides that are rich in phosphodiester linkages. They are the major components of the cell walls and membranes of many bacteria.Ribitol: A sugar alcohol formed by the reduction of ribose.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Genome, Bacterial: The genetic complement of a BACTERIA as represented in its DNA.Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial: Any of the processes by which cytoplasmic or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action in bacteria.Gram-Positive Bacteria: Bacteria which retain the crystal violet stain when treated by Gram's method.Phenylalanine-tRNA Ligase: An enzyme that activates phenylalanine with its specific transfer RNA. EC 220.127.116.11.Milk: The white liquid secreted by the mammary glands. It contains proteins, sugar, lipids, vitamins, and minerals.Mouth: The oval-shaped oral cavity located at the apex of the digestive tract and consisting of two parts: the vestibule and the oral cavity proper.Meat Products: Articles of food which are derived by a process of manufacture from any portion of carcasses of any animal used for food (e.g., head cheese, sausage, scrapple).Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Caco-2 Cells: Human colonic ADENOCARCINOMA cells that are able to express differentiation features characteristic of mature intestinal cells, such as ENTEROCYTES. These cells are valuable in vitro tools for studies related to intestinal cell function and differentiation.Lactococcus lactis: A non-pathogenic species of LACTOCOCCUS found in DAIRY PRODUCTS and responsible for the souring of MILK and the production of LACTIC ACID.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.RNA, Bacterial: Ribonucleic acid in bacteria having regulatory and catalytic roles as well as involvement in protein synthesis.Intestinal Mucosa: Lining of the INTESTINES, consisting of an inner EPITHELIUM, a middle LAMINA PROPRIA, and an outer MUSCULARIS MUCOSAE. In the SMALL INTESTINE, the mucosa is characterized by a series of folds and abundance of absorptive cells (ENTEROCYTES) with MICROVILLI.Digestive System: A group of organs stretching from the MOUTH to the ANUS, serving to breakdown foods, assimilate nutrients, and eliminate waste. In humans, the digestive system includes the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT and the accessory glands (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).Microbial Interactions: The inter- and intra-relationships between various microorganisms. This can include both positive (like SYMBIOSIS) and negative (like ANTIBIOSIS) interactions. Examples include virus - bacteria and bacteria - bacteria.Anti-Bacterial Agents: Substances that reduce the growth or reproduction of BACTERIA.Base Composition: The relative amounts of the PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in a nucleic acid.Methanobrevibacter: A genus of gram-positive, anaerobic, cocci to short rod-shaped ARCHAEA, in the family METHANOBACTERIACEAE, order METHANOBACTERIALES. They are found in the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT or other anoxic environments.Nucleic Acid Hybridization: Widely used technique which exploits the ability of complementary sequences in single-stranded DNAs or RNAs to pair with each other to form a double helix. Hybridization can take place between two complimentary DNA sequences, between a single-stranded DNA and a complementary RNA, or between two RNA sequences. The technique is used to detect and isolate specific sequences, measure homology, or define other characteristics of one or both strands. (Kendrew, Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994, p503)Lactobacillales: An order of gram-positive bacteria in the class Bacilli, that have the ability to ferment sugars to lactic acid. They are widespread in nature and commonly used to produce fermented foods.