Lactobacillus rhamnosus

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Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Division: Firmicutes
Class: Bacilli
Order: Lactobacillales
Family: Lactobacillaceae
Genus: Lactobacillus
Species: L. rhamnosus
Binomial name
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
(Hansen 1968)
Collins et al. 1989

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a probiotic bacterium that was originally considered to be a subspecies of L. casei, but later genetic research found it to be a species of its own. L. rhamnosus inhibits the growth of most harmful bacteria in the intestine. It is used as a natural preservative in yogurt and other dairy products to extend the shelf life. Some studies have been done on its in vivo effects. While frequently considered a beneficial organism, L. rhamnosus has been discovered to be pathogenic in certain circumstances.[1]

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is a strain of L. rhamnosus isolated from the intestinal tract of a healthy human being in 1983, filed for patent on 17 April 1985, by Sherwood Gorbach and Barry Goldin.[2] (The first letters of their last names provided the GG).[3] The patent refers to a strain of "L. acidophilus GG" with American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) Accession No. 53103; the organism was later reclassified as a strain of L. rhamnosus. The patent claims that the LGG strain is acid– and bile–stable, has a high avidity for mucosal cells of the human intestinal tract, and produces lactic acid.

Gorbach and Goldin have published a number of studies of LGG, for instance to demonstrate that LGG tolerates the acid conditions in the stomach and the bile acids in the small intestine.[4] Acting as a probiotic, LGG is claimed to colonize the digestive tract and balance the intestinal microflora. In 2005, LGG was used successfully for the first time to treat gastrointestinal carriage of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in renal patients.[5]

LGG is a trademark owned by Valio Ltd. Corporation of Finland who signed an agreement with Gorbach and Goldin that gave Valio exclusive global rights to market the LGG probiotic brand.[citation needed]


  1. Avlami A, Kordossis T, Vrizidis N, Sipsas NV (2001). "Lactobacillus rhamnosus endocarditis complicating colonoscopy". J. Infect. 42 (4): 283–5. doi:10.1053/jinf.2001.0793. PMID 11545575.
  2. US 4839281 
  3. Silva M, Jacobus NV, Deneke C, Gorbach SL (1987). "Antimicrobial substance from a human Lactobacillus strain". Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 31 (8): 1231–3. PMID 3307619.
  4. Conway PL, Gorbach SL, Goldin BR (1987). "Survival of lactic acid bacteria in the human stomach and adhesion to intestinal cells". J. Dairy Sci. 70 (1): 1–12. PMID 3106442.
  5. Manley KJ, Fraenkel MB, Mayall BC, Power DA (2007). "Probiotic treatment of vancomycin-resistant enterococci: a randomised controlled trial". Med J Aust. 186 (9): 454–7. PMID 17484706.

Further reading

Salminen MK, Rautelin H, Tynkkynen S; et al. (2004). "Lactobacillus bacteremia, clinical significance, and patient outcome, with special focus on probiotic L. rhamnosus GG". Clin. Infect. Dis. 38 (1): 62–9. PMID 14679449.