Bifidobacterium bifidum
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum “Actinobacteria”, Class Actinobacteria, Order Bifidobacteriales, Family Bifidobacteriaceae, Genus Bifidobacterium,
Bifidobacterium bifidum
(Tissier 1900) Orla-Jensen 1924, type species of the genus.

Two biovars: biovar a (in the feces of human adults) and biovar b (in the feces of neonates, with variants a and b).

Bacillus bifidus Tissier 1900; Bacterium bifidum (Tissier 1900) Orla-Jensen 1919; Lactobacillus bifidus type II Weiss and
Rettger 1938;
Lactobacillus parabifidus type II Weiss and Rettger 1938.
Gram-positive but may stain irregularly as the culture ages; highly variable rods but
“amphora-like” cells are characteristic.
Colonies are convex or lens shaped, opaque, whitish, with smooth to mucoid surface
on agar plates incubated anaerobically. Good growth with turbidity and flocculent
precipitate occurs in glucose broth incubated anaerobically. Growth is dependent on
the fermentable carbohydrate; organic nitrogen is required for growth. Anaerobic, CO
is required for growth. Optimum growth temperature is 36-38 ºC. Variable growth at
23 ºC, but no growth at 20 or 45 ºC (range 30-41 ºC
). Optimum pH 6.0-7.0.
Isolated from faeces of human adults, infants and suckling calves; human vagina.
Bacteriophage has been reported.
Non-pathogenic for man or animals.
  1. Biavati B, Mattarelli P, 2012.  Genus I. Bifidobacterium Orla-Jensen 1924. In: Parte et al. (ed). Bergey’s manual of systematic
    bacteriology: The Actinobacteria,Part A and B. Springer, New York, 171-206.
  2. Rogosa M. 1975. Genus III. Bifidobacterium Orla-Jensen 1924. In: Buchanan RE & Gibbons NE (ed). Bergey’s manual of
    determinative bacteriology, Eight Edition, The Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 669-676.
  3. Modesto, Michelini, Stefanini, Ferrara, Tacconi, Biavati, and Mattaraelli 2016. Bifidobacterium aesculapii sp. nov., from the faeces of
    the baby common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 64, 2819-2827.
  4. Michelini S, Oki K, Yanokura E, Shimakawa Y, Modesto M, Mattarelli P, Biavati B and Watanabe K, 2016. Bifidobacterium myosotis
    sp. nov., Bifidobacterium tissieri sp. nov. and Bifidobacterium hapali from the faeces of baby common marmoset (Callithrix
    jacchus). Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 66, 255-265.
  5. Modesto M, Satti M, Watanabe K, Huang CH, Liou JS, Tamura T, Saito S, Mori K, Huang L, Sandri C, Spiezio C, Sgorbati B, Scarafile
    D, Camma C, Ancora M, Patavino C , Arita M and Mattarelli P, 2020. Bifidobacteria in two-toed sloths (Chloepus didactylus):
    phylogenetic characterization of the novel taxon Bifidobacterium choloepi. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 70, 6115-6125.
Positive results for alkaline phosphatase, arginine dihydrolase (weak), arginine arylamidase, beta-galactosidase, N-acetyl-beta-
glucosaminidase, serine arylamidase, acid production from D-galactose, glucose, and porcine gastric mucin.

Negative results for alpha-arabinosidase, catalase, alpha-galactosidase, alpha- and beta-glucosidase, beta-glucuronidase, gelatin
hydrolysis, H
2S production, indole production, nitrate reduction, urease, acid production from adonitol, amygdalin, D- and L-arabinose,
D- and L-arabitol, arbutin, cellobiose, dextran, erythritol, esculin, dulcitol, D- and L-fucose, D-galactosamine, gluconate, 2- and 5-
ketogluconate, D-glucuronate, gentibiose, glycogen, inositol, inulin, maltose, D-mannitol, D-mannose, melezitose, methyl alpha-D-
methyl alpha-D-mannopyranoside, N-acetylglucosamine, pectin, raffinose, rhamnose, D-ribose, salicin, D-sorbitol,
L-sorbose, starch, D-tagatose,  trehalose, turanose, methyl beta-D-xylopyranoside, xylitol, xylose and xylan.
Ammonia is not produced from arginine.

Variable results for esculin hydrolysis, acid production from amylopectin, amylose, D-fructose, glycerol, D-glucosamine, D-lactose,
melibiose, and sucrose (biotype a is positive, while biotype b is negative).
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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