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Radiation and Probiotics


Isolation and selection of probiotic microorganisms protective against radiation damages

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-FOD/Food & Nutrition/Agriculture
  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Turebayev A

Leading Institute
Armenian National Agrarian University, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • International Association for Human and Animals Health Improvement, Armenia, Yerevan


  • Kyorin University School of Medicine, Japan, Tokyo\nRutgers University / Department of Food Science, USA, NJ, New Brunswick\nUniverzita Pavla Jozefa Safarika v Kosiciach, Slovakia, Kosice

Project summary

This project will be performed by the probiotics consortium researchers from Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan (via ISTC) and Ukraine (via STCU). The project was developed in the frames of the ISTC Targeted Initiative “Probiotics and Health” (TI PROBIO). The first joint ISTC (Armenia) - STCU (Georgia) TI PROBIO project “Isolation and characterization of probiotics selectively growing on milk oligosaccharides was funded by the US DOE/GIPP Partner and has recently completed with a great success. Current “Probiotics and Radiation” Project proposal has been thoroughly discussed and developed during the 5th TI PROBIO Workshop “Probiotics-method for the maintenance of health in space and other severe working circumstances” held in Osaka University in March, 2014. World leading probiotics experts have expressed a desire to participate in the project as ISTC collaborators: Shigeru KAMIYA (Professor, Kyorin University School of Medicine, JAPAN; President of Japanese Society for Bacteriology), Alojz BOMBA (Professor, Director of Dept. of Experimental Medicine, P.J. Safarik University in Kosice, Slovakia, President of the Annual International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics) and Michael CHIKINDAS (Professor of Ruthgers University, USA, Editor-in-Chief of the Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins – Springer journal).
The main goal of the Project is to create a collection of probiotic microorganisms with radioprotective properties looking to the development of probiotic foods for the prevention and treatment of radiation damages.
The following main activities will be carried out within the project:
- Isolation and identification of Lactobacillus spp. from artisanal fermented foods from endemic sheep and gut microbiota of healthy people from high mountain areas of Armenia
- Screening of isolated probiotic candidates on radioprotective activity in DNA - comets assay and DNA methylation assay.
- In vivo investigation of potential probiotic strains for prevention of radiation-induced damage
- In vivo investigation of potential probiotic strains for treatment of radiation-induced damage
- Fermented foods pilot technology development using the selected strains
Technical approach and methodology. Isolation of Lactobacillus spp. from artisanal fermented foods and Lactobacillus spp. and lactose (+) commensal E. coli from the gut microbiota of healthy people from high mountain areas of Armenia will be performed by classical bacteriological methods. biochemical and physiological tests, PCR- and 16S RNA sequence based methods will be used for identification. Selected strains will be subjected to full genome sequencing. The evaluation of isolated probiotic candidates on radioprotective activity will be made using DNA - comets assay (SYBR-Green visualization) and DNA methylation assay. The investigation of candidate probiotic strains for the prevention and the treatment of radiation-induced damage will be performed through the in vivo experiments in lab mice. Liquid- and solid-phase biofilm cultivation of the selected strains technologies will be used for fermented foods pilot technology development.
Competence of the project in this area. Researchers participating in the project have extensive experience in the study of probiotic cultures and development probiotic food supplements, including the isolation of microorganisms from different ecological niches, the study of colonization potential, functional activity, including antioxidant, radioprotective, DNA - protective properties. Also, researchers are experienced in conducting preclinical and clinical trials of probiotics (see “12. Supporting Information”).
Expected results and their application. New collection of probiotic strains possessing radioprotective effect will be generated. The radioprotective preventive or/and therapeutic effect will be determined in in vitro and in vivo experiments. On the base of these strains fermented foods pilot technology will be developed. The microorganisms will be represented in the product in their natural biofilm form. The results of the project could be promoted to the field of health protection of people working in the heavy conditions, including aerospace, nuclear power stations, life savers in case of nuclear disasters, people subjected to nuclear weapons, irradiated cancer patients. The strains protective against radiation might be also efficient for prevention and treatment of non-radiation intestinal injures including cancer chemotherapy, heavy metal poisonings, etc.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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