Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2022 Dec 27. doi: 10.1007/s12602-022-10034-6. Online ahead of print.
Safety assessment of probiotics is difficult but essential. In this work, the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae), was used as in vivo model to assess the biosafety of Limosilactobacillus fermentum J23. In the first set of experiments, the strain was orally administered to adult flies through direct feeding, whereas in the second set of experiments, it was supplemented through the larval rearing medium. Data showed that L. fermentum J23 did not lead to increased mortality or treatment-related toxicity signs in adult female and male flies. Ingestion of L. fermentum J23 by adult female flies led to a statistically significant improvement in locomotor activity compared to the control groups (ca. 59% decrease in climbing time, p < 0.0001). A positive trend in lifespan extension under stress (maximum lifespan = 144 h) was also observed. When L. fermentum J23 was administered to the larvae, the adult emergence (p = 0.0099), sex ratio (p = 0.0043), and flight ability (p = 0.0009) increased significantly by 7%, 31%, and 8%, respectively, compared to the control diet. No statistical effect between the control diet and the L. fermentum J23-based diet for the number of pupae recovered, pupal weight, duration of the pupal stage, lifespan under stress, and morphological development was observed. We conclude that feeding L. fermentum J23 to the novel experimental model A. ludens had no toxic effects and could be safely considered a potential probiotic for food supplements; however, further studies are still needed to establish its biosafety in humans.