DuPont files patent on bacteria blend for blood type-tailored probiotics

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock / frentusha
© iStock / frentusha
DuPont Nutrition Biosciences has developed a bacteria-metabolites blend for tailored probiotic treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal disorders amongst consumers in the ABO blood group.

Writing in its international patent​, the biotech major said the blend can be used in a variety of food and beverage applications as well as probiotic supplements for the prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease, among others. 

The blend, it said, is bile and acid resistant and capable of enhanced binding to A, B and/or O blood type antigens and can therefore offer tailored treatment to these consumer groups.

“The present invention is based on the inventors' surprising discovery that certain bacterial strains showed enhanced ​in vitro adhesion to one or more of the ABO blood group antigens. This finding enables the selection of ABO blood group-specific bacteria for use in probiotic compositions and for the treatment or prevention of gastrointestinal orders,”​ DuPont wrote in its patent.

Lengthy research

Whilst ABO antigen binding ability has already been reported for Lactobacillus spp​., Bifidobacteria​ and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron​, it said its blend of bacterias and metabolites has 100% adhesion to each blood-type antigen – an improvement compared to the control strain Lactobacillus. Crispatus​.

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Arthur Ouwehand, technical fellow for General Health & Nutritional Sciences at DuPont Nutrition & Health, said development of the blend took a number of years.

“DuPont established the relation between blood groups and so-called secretor status in 2012, then we worked for 2-3 years on identifying potential probiotic strains that bind to specific blood groups or all blood groups,”​ Ouwehand said.

In its patent, DuPont said the blend can be made with modified, mutant and progeny of novel, deposited bacterial strains either in single-strain form or combinations. After extensive testing, five strains had been identified as having “equal or better”​ antigen adhesion than the control; an acid tolerance of more than -2.6 when measured at pH 2.5 for 1.5 hours; and bile tolerance of more than 40%, represented as growth in 0.9% dehydrated fresh bile over 24 hours.

When incorporated into a final product, it said the blend could be mixed with other commercially available probiotic bacterial strains like Lactococcus​, Streptococcus​ and Camobacterium​ or a variety of prebiotics.

'Personally tailored' products

DuPont said probiotic supplements and microbiota modulation products already on the market are “ineffective”​ in promoting the desired health effect for every individual, with effects varying from person to person. “Thus, there is a continuous need for more specific or personally tailored products that are able to mediate the health effects more efficiently,”​ it wrote.

Ouwehand said: “Personalised nutrition has a great potential but the question is: where to start? Blood groups may be a way to start, instead of doing full genome sequencing on everybody.”

But, he said using blood-types to personalise nutrition also faced challenges from a commercialisation standpoint.

“There are principally two main challenges to commercialisation. One is that it may not be as common as we think that people know their blood group and the other is that we need to show particular health benefits for some of the strains.”

Importantly, he said DuPont is able to tailor the blends to either develop blood group specific products or combining strains to make a product that suits all blood types.

Conserves, cheese and cakes

The food and beverage application opportunities for the blend are numerous, DuPont said in its patent, including fruit conserves, yoghurts, cheese, cakes, bakery fillings, fruit juice, chocolate milk, and teas, among others.

When used in such products, it said the blend can be mixed into the formulation (in freeze-dried powder, tablet, capsule or liquid form), cultured in the product, or sprayed directly onto the surface of the food. Alternatively, manufacturers can dip the food product into a prepared bacteria composition or use the blend as a glaze, seasoning or colourant mix.

“For some applications, it is important that the composition is made available on or to the surface of a product to be affected/treated. This allows the composition to impact one or more of the following favourable characteristics: nutrition and/or health benefits,”​ DuPont wrote.

In all cases, the inclusion has to use a controlled amount of the bacteria blend, it said, ideally around 109 ​to 1011 ​viable probiotic bacterial ceils per daily dose of the food or drink product. The final formulation also has to remain stable during transit through the gastrointestinal tract, it said.

Importantly, DuPont said the blend also remains stable for the typical shelf life of the food and beverage products.

“Advantageously, where the product is a food product, the probiotic bacteria should remain effective through the normal 'sell-by' or 'expiration' date during which the food product is offered for sale by the retailer.”

Source:WIPO International Patent No. WO2018050623
Published: March 22, 2018. Filed: September 12, 2017.
Title: “Bacteria”
Authors: DuPont Nutrition Biosciences APS

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