Functionality and Ecology of Microorganism Benefits (MicroHealth)

Foto Functionality and Ecology of Microorganism Benefits (MicroHealth)

Lead researcher: Abelardo Margolles Barros

Research Center: Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC). Paseo Río Linares s/n. 33300 Villaviciosa. Asturias

Our group is focused on developing dietary and / or nutritional strategies that use bacteria, or compounds capable of modulating the microbiota profile and its activity, to maintain or restore the intestinal microbial balance and promote health. Our strengths are based on our extensive experience in microbial physiology, which allows us to characterize the functional and technological properties of a wide variety of microorganisms, and to address studies on probiotics, food microbiota and human microbiota. Our knowledge of functional genomics and bioinformatics allows us to carry out projects of bacterial genomics, proteomics and transcriptomics, as well as metagenomics of complex populations. On the other hand, to study the interactions between bacteria, the microbiota and the host, we have implemented several in vitro and in vivo models, including models with immortalized cell lines, immune cells and human tissues, as well as preclinical models in animals. We have also developed methods to study the bioavailability of nutrients and bioactives. The group develops its projects from a multidisciplinary perspective, counting on national and international collaborations including medical doctors, immunologists, nutritionists, chemists and bioinformatics, among others.

The main objective of our research group is to generate knowledge about the functions carried out by food and intestinal microorganisms in relation to human health. To achieve this general objective, we are developing different lines of research:
    - Line 1. Functionality of microorganisms and probiotic foods
    - Line 2. Interactions of intestinal microorganisms with the host and with technological challenges
    - Line 3. Collection, preservation, and culture of faecal microbiota
    - Line 4. Role of the microbiota in different physiological and pathological states: dysbiosis, microbial markers of disease and strategies to modulate the microbiota
    - Line 5. Development of bioinformatic tools for the study of the functionality of microbiota and probiotics.

  • Molinero N, Ruiz L, Milani C, GutiérrezDíaz I, Sánchez B, Mangifesta M, Segura J, Cambero I, Campelo AB, García-Bernardo CM, Cabrera A, Rodríguez JI, González S, Rodríguez JM, Ventura M, Delgado S, Margolles A. The human gallbladder microbiome is related to the physiological state and the biliary metabolic profile. Microbiome (in press).


  • Martínez N, HidalgoCantabrana C, Delgado S, Margolles A, Sánchez B. 2019. Filling the gap between collection, transport and storage of the human gut microbiota. Sci Rep 9:8327.


  • Ruiz L, Bacigalupe R, GarciaCarral C, Argüello H, Beatriz Silva C, Checa MA, Mira A, Rodriguez JM. 2019. Microbiota of human precolostrum and its potential role as a source of bacteria to the infant mouth. Sci Rep 9:8435.


  • Díaz M, Guadamuro L, EspinosaMartos I, Mancabelli L, Jiménez S, Molinos-Norniella C, Pérez-Solis D, Milani C, Rodríguez JM, Ventura M, Bousoño C, Gueimonde M, Margolles A, Díaz JJ, Delgado S. 2018. Microbiota and derived parameters in fecal samples of infants with nonIgE cow’s milk protein allergy under a restricted diet. Nutrients 10:1481.
  • BlancoMíguez A, Fdez-Riverola F, Lourenço A, Sánchez B. 2017. P4P: a peptidomebased strain-level genome comparison web tool. Nucleic Acids Res 45(W1):W265-W269


  • Motato KE, Milani C, Ventura M, Valencia FE, RuasMadiedo P, Delgad o S. 2017. Bacterial diversity of the Colombian fermented milk “Suero Costeño” assessed by culturing and highthroughput sequencing and DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Food Microbiol 68:129136.


  • Inturri R, Molinaro A, Di Lorenzo F, Blandino G, Tomasello B, HidalgoCantabrana C, De Castro C, Ruas-Madiedo P. 2017. Chemical and biological properties of the novel exopolysaccharide produced by a probiotic strain of Bifidobacterium longum. Carbohydr Polym 174:11721180.


  • Salazar N, Gueimonde M, de Los ReyesGavilán CG, Ruas-Madiedo P. 2016. Exopolysaccharides Produced by Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bifidobacteria as Fermentable Substrates by the Intestinal Microbiota. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr  56:14401553.


  • HidalgoCantabrana C, Sánchez B, Milani C, Ventura M, Margolles A, Ruas-Madiedo P. 2014.  Genomic overview and biological functions of exopolysaccharide biosynthesis in Bifidobacterium spp. Appl Environ Microbiol 80:918.