Taxonomic reclassification of the Lactobacillus genus

During 2020 a taxonomic reclassification of the Lactobacillus genus will take place. This means that BioGaia’s probiotic strains of Lactobacillus reuteri, as well as most other companies’ species of Lactobacillus, no longer will belong to the genus Lactobacillus and thereby not have the name Lactobacillus. The new name is still not known, but it is proposed to start with an “L”. The exact date for the change to come into force is yet to be decided.

In 2018, Salvetti et al published results of a genome sequence analysis of 232 species belonging to the Lactobacillus genus. The results showed a high level of phenotypic and genotypic diversity (i.e. a large variety between strain properties and their genome) within the Lactobacillus genus. Due to this diversity, it has been challenging to name, classify and compare lactobacilli. Based on this finding, the researchers have proposed to divide the Lactobacillus genus into more homogeneous genera/clusters. Species currently assigned to the Lactobacillaceae family are suggested to be split into 26 genera, from todays’ three. The name of the new genus must be published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology before being valid.

It is important to remember that it is only the genus name that will change. The organisms themselves, the effects and the safety are still unchanged!

For more information, please read this article on ISAPP Science Blog.
BioGaia will follow the progress of this and provide further information as soon as available.