The Survival of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATC53103 in a Simulated Teen GI Tract

Friday, February 12, 2016
Jonah Peterson, Central City High School, Central City, NE
The purpose of this experiment was to see how well probiotics survive in the teen population. I hypothesized that the environmental and biological stressors associated with this population would have an effect on the survival of probiotics because there are factors unique to this sub-group such as chlorination, pH, medication, hygiene, and habits.

Three control agar plates were inoculated with a slurry consisting of one capsule of Culturelle and purified water. The plates were placed in an anaerobic environment and incubated at a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius for 24 hours. The Colony Forming Units were counted on one quarter of the plate. The above procedure was repeated, and the purified water was replaced with each of the following stressors individually: tap water, bacterial amylase, Equate Antiseptic Mouthwash, doxycycline, and hydrochloric acid with a pH of 3.5.

It was found that the stress that was introduced had a negative effect on probiotic survival. The hypothesis was supported by the data because the induced stress caused a statistical difference in the bacterial growth. For future experiments of this nature, I would recommend an extended planning period in order to allow time for any experimental complications, additional trials to ensure reliability, and further study on the unique characteristics of the teen population. The results of this experiment could help determine whether or not probiotics should be administered differently in this sub-group.