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Bifidobacterium animalis

Bifidobacterium animalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Division: Firmicutes
Class: Actinobacteria
Order: Bifidobacteriales
Family: Bifidobacteriaceae
Genus: Bifidobacterium
Species: B. animalis
Binomial name
Bifidobacterium animalis
(Mitsuoka 1969)
Scardovi and Trovatelli 1974

B. a. animalis
B. a. lactis

Bifidobacterium animalis is a Gram-positive anaerobic rod-shaped bacterium, which can be found in the intestines of most mammals, including human. It is one of the different species of bifidobacteria in the human large intestine.

Additional recommended knowledge

Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium lactis were previously described as two distinct species. Presently both are considered B. animalis with the subspecies Bifidobacterium animalis subsp animalis and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis.[1][2][3]

Both old names B. animalis and B. lactis are still used on product labels, as this species is frequently used as a probiotic. In most cases it is not clear which subspecies is used in the product.

Trade names

B. animalis, strain number DN 173 010, is used worldwide as a probiotic in the product Activia™, produced by the Danone company (known as Dannon in the US). The company uses different trade names in different countries : Bifidus Digestivum (UK), Bifidus Regularis (US and Mexico), Bifidobacterium Lactis or B.L. Regularis (Canada), Bifidus Essensis (Germany, Netherlands, Romania and Austria), Bifidus Activo (Spain) and Bifidus Actiregularis (Argentina, Chile, Italy, Netherlands and Russia).

These are not scientific names but trade names designed to sound and look like scientifically named organisms. The scientific name is Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis DN173010.

Another commonly used strain is marketed as BB-12® (Bb12; Bb-12). This strain is used in products from many different producers worldwide, mainly in dairy products, but also in food supplements (pills). It is marketed by Chr. Hansen Ltd from Denmark. As with the other strain, BB-12® is marketed both as Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium lactis, however, the true scientific name of the strain is Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis.

Health benefits

Both strains mentioned above are well studied and ample literature exists on the efficacy of these bacteria. Some recent references are stated below.

Bb12 :

  • Effects of Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 Supplementation on Intestinal Microbiota of Preterm Infants: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study. J Clin Microbiol. 2006 November; 44(11): 4025–4031.
  • Adherence of Probiotic Bacteria to Human Intestinal Mucus in Healthy Infants and during Rotavirus Infection. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 March; 8(2): 293–296.
  • Innate mechanisms for Bifidobacterium lactis to activate transient pro-inflammatory host responses in intestinal epithelial cells after the colonization of germ-free rats. Immunology. 2005 August; 115(4): 441–450.

DN 173 010 :

  • A fermented milk with Bifidobacterium probiotic strain DN-173 010 shortened oro-fecal gut transit time in elderly. Microb Ecology Health Dis,2001; 13: 217-222.
  • Bifidobacterium animalis, strain DN-173 010 shortens the colonic transit time in healthy women.

A double-blind randomised controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 2002; 16: 587-593.

  • Bouvier M, et al. “Effects of consumption of a milk fermented by the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 on colonic transit time in healthy humans. Bioscience and Microflora, 2001; Vol 20(2): 43-48.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Masco, Liesbeth; Marco Ventura, Ralf Zink, Geert Huys1 and Jean Swings (July 2004). "Polyphasic taxonomic analysis of Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium lactis reveals relatedness at the subspecies level: reclassification of Bifidobacterium animalis as Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis subsp. nov. and Bifidobacterium lactis as Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis subsp. nov.". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 54 (part 4): 1137-1143. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.03011-0. PMID 15280282. Retrieved on 2007-07-14.
  3. ^ Rapid Identification, Differentiation, and Proposed New Taxonomic Classification of Bifidobacterium lactis. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 December; 68(12): 6429–6434.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bifidobacterium_animalis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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