A selection of 36 commercial probiotic fermented dairy products from UK and Europe markets were evaluated for the numbers, types and viability of Lactobacillus strains against the stated information on their packages. A comparative study was carried out on selectivity of MRS-Clindamycin, MRS-Sorbitol and MRS-IM Maltose, to select the right medium for enumeration of probiotic Lactobacillus. Based on selectivity of medium for recovery of the targeted lactobacilli and also simplicity of preparation, MRS-Clindamycin was chosen as the best medium for enumeration of probiotic Lactobacillus in fermented milks. The results of enumeration of lactobacilli showed that 22 out of a total 36 tested products contained more than 106 colony forming units/g at the end of their shelf- life, which comply with the recommended minimum therapeutic level for probiotics. Rep-PCR using primer GTG-5 was applied for initial discrimination of isolated strains, and isolates, which presented different band profile, were placed in different groups. The isolated Lactobacillus spp. were identified mainly as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus paracasei by analysis of partial sequences of the 16S ribosomal RNA and rpoA genes. In conclusion, it is unknown to recommend the adequate number of probiotic bacteria to be consumed to ensure the beneficial properties.
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