Last week new names for probiotics belonging to the genus Lactobacillus was adopted. As a result many of the most well-known commercial probiotics have been given new genus names, including BioGaia’s, which is now called Limosilactobacillus reuteri.
The first Lactobacillus species was named in 1901. In the last decades new analytical tools have enabled scientists to discover many new species as well as realizing that the species historically grouped under Lactobacillus were too different from each other. To keep the probiotic groups accurate and organized, the genus Lactobacillus was therefore split into 25 different genera. As a result, many probiotics have been given new genus names.
A probiotic name consists of a genus, a species and a strain name. It is only the genus part, Lactobacillus, that has now been changed. Species and strain names remain the same, and of course, the organisms themselves, including their effects and safety.
New name – same probiotic
For consumers the change will be noticed on the package label or in the accompanying product information. The content of the probiotic is exactly the same as before.
The article describing the new taxonomy was published in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM). The paper includes a complete overview of all new names as well as a link to a tool that allows you to check the conversion ‘old’ to ‘new’ or vice versa.
A full transition from old to new nomenclature will take time, probably years. BioGaia has a plan for transition and implementation both digitally and in print.
For more information, please read this article on ISAPP Science Blog and ISAPP:s infographic. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.