• Probiotics for the prevention/treatment of human diseases and ecological study of the intestinal microbiota
  • Bozzi Cionci, Nicole <1990>


  • AGR/16 Microbiologia agraria


  • The interest in human intestinal microbiota has increased in the last 20 years and significant advances have been achieved with regard to its composition and functions. The gut microbiota contributes to the maintenance of the host health status and, since alterations in the gut microbiota have been involved in the pathogenesis/progression of some diseases, several studies have focused on the manipulation of its composition. Probiotics are a strategy to maintain/restore the correct balance of gut microbial population and to prevent/treat diseases. The aim of this thesis was to explore the possibility of probiotic supplementation for the prevention/treatment of human diseases and the related study of the intestinal microbial environment. After reviewing studies concerning the use of Bifidobacterium breve as probiotic in paediatric diseases, the effectiveness of a probiotic formulation consisting of two strains of B. breve was assessed in paediatric subjects for the prevention or alleviation of gastrointestinal disorders, including coeliac disease and paediatric obesity. As the emerging role of gut microbiota in neurological diseases, the intestinal microbial environment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients compared to healthy controls and the effects of a probiotic administration were examined. Considering the role of viruses in shaping gut microbiota, gut bacteriophages and bacterial community of preterm infants were investigated. The results evidenced differences in gut microbial composition of healthy controls and diseased subjects in coeliac and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. The probiotic approach was effective in restoring the microbial composition in the former, whereas, in the latter, the influence was focused only on some microbial groups. The probiotic intervention was effective in improving the glyco-insulinemic profile in obese children and in preventing gastrointestinal disorders in healthy newborns. The study of the bacterial and phage composition in preterm infants suggested a transkingdom interplay between bacteria and viruses with a reciprocal influence on their composition.


  • 2020-03-27


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Bozzi Cionci, Nicole (2020) Probiotics for the prevention/treatment of human diseases and ecological study of the intestinal microbiota, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari , 32 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9158.