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HandWiki. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 27 May 2024).
HandWiki. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed May 27, 2024.
HandWiki. "Lactobacillus Rhamnosus" Encyclopedia, (accessed May 27, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, November 08). Lactobacillus Rhamnosus. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Lactobacillus Rhamnosus." Encyclopedia. Web. 08 November, 2022.
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus (previously: Lactobacillus rhamnosus) is a bacterium that originally was considered to be a subspecies of L. casei, but genetic research found it to be a separate species in the L. casei clade, which also includes L. paracasei and L. zeae. It is a short Gram-positive homofermentative facultative anaerobic non-spore-forming rod that often appears in chains. Some strains of L. rhamnosus bacteria are being used as probiotics, and are particularly useful in treating infections of the female urogenital tract, most particularly very difficult to treat cases of bacterial vaginosis (or "BV"). The species Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus and Limosilactobacillus reuteri are commonly found in the healthy female genito-urinary tract and are helpful to regain control of dysbiotic bacterial overgrowth during an active infection. L. rhamnosus sometimes is used in dairy products such as fermented milk and as non-starter-lactic acid bacterium (NSLAB) in long-ripened cheese. While frequently considered a beneficial organism, L. rhamnosus may not be as beneficial to certain subsets of the population; in rare circumstances, especially those primarily involving weakened immune system or infants, it may cause endocarditis. Despite the rare infections caused by L. rhamnosus, the species is included in the list of bacterial species with qualified presumed safety (QPS) status of the European Food Safety Agency.

limosilactobacillus lactobacillus lacticaseibacillus

1. Genome

L. rhamnosus is considered a nomadic organism[1] and strains have been isolated from many different environments including the vagina and the gastrointestinal tract. L. rhamnosus strains have the capacity for strain-specific gene functions that are required to adapt to a large range of environments.[2] Its core genome contains 2,164 genes, out of 4,711 genes in total (the pan-genome).[2] The accessory genome is overtaken by genes encoding carbohydrate transport and metabolism, extracellular polysaccharides, biosynthesis, bacteriocin production, pili production, the CRISPR-Cas system, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci, and more than 100 transporter functions and mobile genetic elements such as phages, plasmid genes, and transposons.[2]

The genome of the specific strain L. rhamnosus LRB, in this case, taken from a human baby tooth, consists of a circular chromosome of 2,934,954 bp with 46.78% GC content.[3] This genome contains 2,749 total genes with 2,672 that are total protein-coding sequences.[3] This sample did not contain any plasmids.[3] The most extensively studied strain, L. rhamnosus GG, a gut isolate, consists of a genome of 3,010,111 bp. Therefore, the LRB genome is shorter than GG’s genome. LRB lacks the spaCBA gene cluster of GG and is not expected to produce functional pili (6).[3] This difference may help explain why each strain lives in a different habitat.

2. Lacticaseibacillus Rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103)

L. rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) is a strain of L. rhamnosus that was isolated in 1983 from the intestinal tract of a healthy human being; filed for a patent on 17 April 1985, by Sherwood Gorbach and Barry Goldin,[4] the 'GG' derives from the first letters of their surnames.[5] The patent refers to a strain of "L. acidophilus GG" with American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) accession number 53103; later reclassified as a strain of L. rhamnosus. The patent claims the L. rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) strain is acid- and bile-stable, has a great avidity for human intestinal mucosal cells, and produces lactic acid. Since the discovery of the L. rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) strain, it has been studied extensively on its various health benefits and currently L. rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) strain is the world's most studied probiotic bacterium with more than 800 scientific studies.

The genome sequence of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) has been decoded in 2009.[6][7]

2.1. History

In 1983, L. rhamnosus GG was isolated from the intestinal tract of a healthy human by Sherwood Gorbach and Barry Goldin.

2.2. Medical Research and Use

While L. rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) is able to survive the acid and bile of the stomach and intestine,[8] is claimed to colonize the digestive tract, and to balance intestinal microbiota, evidence suggests that L. rhamnosus, comparable to virtually all probiotic lactobacilli, is only a transient inhabitant and not autochthonous.[9] Regardless, it is considered a probiotic useful for the treatment of various maladies, as it works on many levels. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG binds to the gut mucosa.[10]


L. rhamnosus GG is beneficial in the prevention of rotavirus diarrhea in children. Prevention and treatment of various types of diarrhea have been shown in children and in adults.[11][12] L. rhamnosus GG can be beneficial in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and nosocomial diarrhea and this has been recently supported by European guidelines.[13][14][15] Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG may reduce the risk of traveler's diarrhea.[16]

Acute gastroenteritis

A position paper published by ESPGHAN Working Group for Probiotics and Prebiotics based on a systematic review and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) suggested that L. rhamnosus GG (low quality of evidence, strong recommendation) may be considered in the management of children with acute gastroenteritis in addition to rehydration therapy.[17]

Atopic dermatitis, eczema

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been found to be ineffective for treating eczema.[18] However in one non-randomized clinical observation[19] dealing with resistant childhood atopic eczema, a substantial improvement in quality of life was reported in pediatric patients given Lactobacillus rhamnosus as a supplement.


The use of L. rhamnosus GG for probiotic therapy has been linked with rare cases of sepsis in certain risk groups, primarily those with a weakened immune system and infants.[20] Ingestion of GG is considered to be safe and data show a significant growth in the consumption of L. rhamnosus GG at the population level did not lead to an increase in Lactobacillus bacteraemia cases.[21]

3. L. Rhamnosus GR-1

L. rhamnosus GR-1 was originally found in the urethra of a healthy female and is nowadays a model strain for vaginal probiotics. A genome comparison between L. rhamnosus GG and L. rhamnosus GR-1 shows that GR-1 lacks spaCBA-encoded pili, an important adhesin in L. rhamnosus GG adhesion to the intestinal epithelial cells.[22] In contrast, L. rhamnosus GR-1 utilises lectin-like proteins to attach to carbohydrates on the surface of the target cell. Lectin-like proteins preferentially bind to nonkeratinized stratified squamous cells which are found in the urethra and vagina. The lectin-like protein 1 purified from L. rhamnosus GR-1 is found to prevent infection by the uropathogenic E. coli UTI89 by inhibiting its adhesion to epithelial cells and by disrupting its biofilm formation.[23] Additionally, it can increase biofilm formation in other beneficial lactobacilli that inhabit the vagina.


  1. "Lifestyles in transition: evolution and natural history of the genus Lactobacillus". FEMS Microbiology Reviews 41 (Supp_1): S27–S48. August 2017. doi:10.1093/femsre/fux030. PMID 28673043.
  2. "The Variable Regions of Lactobacillus rhamnosus Genomes Reveal the Dynamic Evolution of Metabolic and Host-Adaptation Repertoires". Genome Biology and Evolution 8 (6): 1889–905. July 2016. doi:10.1093/gbe/evw123. PMID 27358423.
  3. "Complete Genome Sequence of Lactobacillus rhamnosus Strain LRB". Genome Announcements 4 (6). November 2016. doi:10.1128/genomeA.01208-16. PMID 27811096.
  4. US patent 4839281
  5. "Antimicrobial substance from a human Lactobacillus strain". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 31 (8): 1231–3. August 1987. doi:10.1128/aac.31.8.1231. PMID 3307619.
  6. "Comparative genomic analysis of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG reveals pili containing a human- mucus binding protein". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106 (40): 17193–8. October 2009. doi:10.1073/pnas.0908876106. PMID 19805152. Bibcode: 2009PNAS..10617193K.
  7. "Complete genome sequence of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus ATCC 53103". Journal of Bacteriology 191 (24): 7630–1. December 2009. doi:10.1128/JB.01287-09. PMID 19820099.
  8. "Survival of lactic acid bacteria in the human stomach and adhesion to intestinal cells". Journal of Dairy Science 70 (1): 1–12. January 1987. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(87)79974-3. PMID 3106442.
  9. "Ecological role of lactobacilli in the gastrointestinal tract: implications for fundamental and biomedical research". Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74 (16): 4985–96. 2008. doi:10.1128/AEM.00753-08. PMID 18539818.
  10. "Epithelial adhesion mediated by pilin SpaC is required for Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG-induced cellular responses". Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80 (16): 5068–77. August 2014. doi:10.1128/AEM.01039-14. PMID 24928883.
  11. "Lactobacillus supplementation for diarrhoea related to chemotherapy of colorectal cancer: a randomised study". British Journal of Cancer 97 (8): 1028–34. October 2007. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603990. PMID 17895895.
  12. "Lactobacillus GG administered in oral rehydration solution to children with acute diarrhea: a multicenter European trial". Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 30 (1): 54–60. 2000. doi:10.1097/00005176-200001000-00018. PMID 10630440.
  13. "European guidance on paediatric use of probiotics states that benefits are limited to several conditions and urges caution with specific vulnerable groups". Acta Paediatrica 107 (6): 927–937. February 2018. doi:10.1111/apa.14270. PMID 29446865.
  14. "Probiotics for gastrointestinal disorders: Proposed recommendations for children of the Asia-Pacific region". World Journal of Gastroenterology 23 (45): 7952–7964. December 2017. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i45.7952. PMID 29259371.
  15. "Probiotics for the Prevention of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea in Outpatients-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". Antibiotics 6 (4): 21. October 2017. doi:10.3390/antibiotics6040021. PMID 29023420.
  16. "Clinical Uses of Probiotics". Medicine 95 (5): e2658. February 2016. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000002658. PMID 26844491.
  17. "Use of probiotics for management of acute gastroenteritis: a position paper by the ESPGHAN Working Group for Probiotics and Prebiotics". Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 58 (4): 531–9. April 2014. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000000320. PMID 24614141.
  18. "Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in the Primary Prevention of Eczema in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". Nutrients 10 (9): 1319. September 2018. doi:10.3390/nu10091319. PMID 30231505.
  19. "Lactobacillus rhamnosus cell lysate in the management of resistant childhood atopic eczema". Inflammation & Allergy Drug Targets 9 (3): 192–6. July 2010. doi:10.2174/187152810792231896. PMID 20687891. 
  20. "Probiotics". Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology 27 (3): 202–9. 2009. doi:10.4103/0255-0857.53201. PMID 19584499.
  21. "Lactobacillus bacteremia during a rapid increase in probiotic use of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in Finland". Clinical Infectious Diseases 35 (10): 1155–60. November 2002. doi:10.1086/342912. PMID 12410474.
  22. "Comparative Genomic and Phenotypic Analysis of the Vaginal Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1". Frontiers in Microbiology 9: 1278. 2018. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01278. PMID 29963028.
  23. "The lectin-like protein 1 in Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 mediates tissue-specific adherence to vaginal epithelium and inhibits urogenital pathogens". Scientific Reports 6: 37437. November 2016. doi:10.1038/srep37437. PMID 27869151. Bibcode: 2016NatSR...637437P.
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