Your body is host to billions of tiny microbes, and one bacterial organism is Bacillus licheniformis. This tiny microorganism has a whole host of different activities, and it can make antibiotics such as bacitracin, which is commonly used as a topical antibiotic.
What Is Bacillus licheniformis?
Bacillus licheniformis identification has occurred in numerous areas. It is a bacteria that is often found in the soil, as well as other locations such as on bird feathers. The Bacillus licheniformis Gram stain is positive, which means that B. licheniformis is purple when Gram stained due to the peptidoglycan within the bacteria’s cell wall. This bacteria can also be identified when cultured based on several characteristics, such as irregular colonies with “wrinkled” edges when grown on culture media.
Bacillus licheniformis produces amylase and proteases, which are enzymes that can break down sugars and proteins respectively. This rod-shaped and motile organism can also form spores under harsh conditions that are not conducive to the bacteria’s survival, which helps the bacteria to thrive in manufacturing environments that might otherwise destroy living microbes.
Bacillus licheniformis Benefits and Uses
Bacillus licheniformis has a variety of potential uses. One example is that Bacillus licheniformis probiotics are sometimes used, likely useful to some people as specific strains of B. licheniformis have antimicrobial activity against some other pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli and Staph aureus. These are not as common as probiotics containing bacterial organisms such as Lactobacillus casei. As a probiotic, B. licheniformis may be useful in other regards, such as producing enzymes that can help the body breakdown ingested materials such as proteins and carbohydrates with the proteases and amylases that the bacteria produce.
A major use of Bacillus licheniformis in the industry is to produce antibiotics. Specific strains are able to produce certain antibiotics such as bacitracin and proticin that can be very useful in medical fields. They can also be used to produce chemicals such as citric acid and inosine. At the same time, this bacteria is resistant to certain antibiotics, including oxacillin.
In manufacturing, Bacillus licheniformis is used to manufacture industrial enzymes and chemicals, and it tends to do well in these environments. The proteases that this bacteria produces can be used in detergents. The sugar splitting amylases are useful to size textiles and papers. Bacillus licheniformis with corn is also a possible combination: corn stalks can be treated with strains of B. licheniformis to produce hydrogen.
In the animal feed industry, feathers are difficult to degrade in poultry processing. At this time, chemicals are used to degrade feathers and break them down. Bacillus licheniformis may be useful in breaking down feathers, potentially even turning them into a protein source used for other animals as feed. In addition to turning waste into a food product, it would reduce the number of pollutants currently being used in the poultry industry, saving money and the environment.
Bacillus licheniformis in toothpaste form may also help with dental health. Scientists have been working to unlock the bacteria’s ability to help break down biofilms, which could potentially be used to fight plaque and tartar. The bacteria releases an enzyme that breaks down external DNA. Currently, studies are being undergone to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of adding it to dental products to help fight plaque and prevent dental caries.
Bacillus licheniformis Dosage
Because Bacillus licheniformis is not usually used as a product by itself, there is no standard and recognized dosage. Instead, you would need to take it as part of a combination product, particularly when using it as a probiotic with other Bacillus species.
Bacillus licheniformis Forms
Bacillus licheniformis is found in numerous forms. In industrial applications, the bacteria is commonly harnessed to produce enzymes on a large scale or even produce antibiotics.
As a probiotic, you can find Bacillus licheniformis in combination products, often with other Bacillus species. The Bacillus licheniformis probiotics are in capsule form.
With continued research, Bacillus licheniformis may be useful in products such as toothpaste or mouthwash, products where its biofilm fighting abilities can be put to use naturally.
Side Effects of Bacillus licheniformis
Bacillus licheniformis does have the potential to have adverse effects. In fact, Bacillus licheniformis pathogenicity is a worry for some people. It is linked to causing disease, particularly in immunocompromised individuals, particularly a worry since some strains are resistant to certain commonly used antibiotics. There are cases of B. licheniformis causing disease in healthy individuals. In other cases, this bacteria is linked to abortions in cows, with evidence that it can cross the placental barrier.
The main side effects, from using a Bacillus licheniformis probiotic product, are gastrointestinal signs. Often these resolve over time or by using a lower dosage. They can include diarrhea, gas or bloating, and cramping.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using Bacillus licheniformis
As with any probiotic or supplement, you should contact your medical professional to make sure that the product will not interfere with any health conditions you may have or medications you are already taking. As noted, some immunocompromised individuals may have issues with probiotics, where these normally friendly organisms such as Bacillus licheniformis can be associated with pathogenicity.
When using a probiotic supplement, it is important to follow not just the directions for use but the directions to maintain the product’s integrity. Do not use products after their expiration date, and make sure to store them at the correct temperature and humidity level, as these products are products made almost entirely of living organisms.
Bacillus licheniformis has many different potential uses. In the home, it can be an effective probiotic supplement for many people, as the bacteria produce enzymes that will help breakdown digested products, such as sugars and proteins. It is also useful on a larger scale for industries, where it can be used in producing antibiotics and manufacturing. A newer avenue for the bacteria is using them in dental products, where they can disrupt the biofilm of plaque and may help keep people’s mouths healthier.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.