Safety and risk assessment of the genetically modified Lactococci on rats intestinal bacterial flora
The interaction between Lactococcus lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK and intestinal microflora was evaluated as a method to assess safety of genetically modified microorganisms (GMMs). L. lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK is one kind of GMM and able to produce the intracellular subtilisin NAT (nattokinase) under induction with nisin. The host strain L. lactis NZ9000 was a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) microorganism. Six groups of Wistar rats were orally administered with L. lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK and L. lactis NZ9000 for 6weeks. Fecal and cecal contents were collected to determine the number of L. lactis NZ9000, L. lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK, Lactobacillus, coliform bacteria, beneficial bacteria Bifidobacterium and harmful bacteria Clostridium perfringens. The liver, spleen, kidney and blood were evaluated for the bacterial translocation. After 6weeks consumption with GM and non-GM Lactococcus, no adverse effects were observed on the rat's body weight, hematological or serum biochemical parameters, or intestinal microflora. The bacterial translocation test showed that L. lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK did not translocate to any organ or blood. Bifidobacterium was significantly increased in feces after administration of both Lactococcus strains (L. lactis NZ9000 and L. lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK), while C. perfringens remained undetectable during the experiment. These results suggested that L. lactis NZ9000/pNZPNK could be safe in animal experiments and monitoring of the interaction between test strains and intestinal microflora might be applied as a method for other GMM safety assessments.
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