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Preparation and preservation of viable Akkermansia muciniphila cells for therapeutic interventions

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The anaerobic gut bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila is a well-characterised member of the mucosal microbiota and has shown to be a gut symbiont in human. A. muciniphila has been negatively associated with obesity and its associated metabolic disorders in various human cohorts while treatment with A. muciniphila cells reversed highfat diet-induced obesity and its associated metabolic disorders in mouse models. Therefore, administration of A. muciniphila has been suggested as a possible new therapeutic treatment for these omnipresent diseases. Here we describe a potentially scalable workflow for the preparation and preservation of high numbers of viable cells of A. muciniphila obtained from 1 l laboratory scale growth under strict anaerobic conditions for therapeutic interventions. This resulted in viable A. muciniphila cells with high yields and very high stability, with up to 97.9±4.5% survival for a time period of 1 year at -80 °C in glycerol-amended medium. Moreover, various quality assessment and control procedures were developed to ensure the use of viable cells of A. muciniphila. Several microscopic, culturing, and molecular approaches were applied to monitor the presence, abundance and recovery of A. muciniphila before, during, and after its administration to high-fat treated mice. We show that viable A. muciniphila cells can be recovered from caecal and colon content (up to 1×1010 cells/g), testifying for the efficiency of the described workflow.
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Keywords: delivery; laboratory scale production; stability; therapeutic microbe; viability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 26, 2017

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  • Beneficial Microbes is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a specific area of focus: the promotion of the science of microbes beneficial to the health and wellbeing of man and animal. The journal contains original research papers and critical reviews in all areas dealing with beneficial microbes in both the small and large intestine, together with opinions, a calendar of forthcoming beneficial microbes-related events and book reviews. The journal takes a multidisciplinary approach and focuses on a broad spectrum of issues, including safety aspects of pro- & prebiotics, regulatory aspects, mechanisms of action, health benefits for the host, optimal production processes, screening methods, (meta)genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, host and bacterial physiology, application, and role in health and disease in man and animal. Beneficial Microbes is intended to serve the needs of researchers and professionals from the scientific community and industry, as well as those of policy makers and regulators.
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