Foto del docente

Beatrice Vitali

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology

Teaching tutor

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Academic discipline: BIO/19 Microbiology

Research

Keywords: human microbiota probiotic bacteria molecular culture-independent techniques Lactobacillus

Characterization of human microbial ecosystems.

The target ecosystems are the vaginal microbiota and the oral microbiota. These ecosystems are characterized from a phylogenetic point of view by means of molecular techniques based on 16S rRNA gene, and from a functional point of view through metabolomics and proteomics. A subject of the group's research is also the study of the interactions between the various components of such ecosystems: mutualistic bacteria, pathogens and host cell epithelium.

Study of the health-promoting effects of probiotic bacteria.

Particular attention is paid to bacteria belonging to the genus Lactobacillus. Lactobacilli represent the dominant component of the vaginal microbiota and play a key role in maintaining the ecosystem homeostasis. The research activity is aimed at studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic activities of lactobacilli: production of antimicrobial metabolites, ability to form biofilm, modulation of membrane functions of the cellular epithelium, interaction with the immune system.

Selection of bacterial strains for the development of probiotic formulations.

The research focuses on selecting new bacterial strains referring to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium for the development of probiotic formulations (pharmaceutical/nutraceutical). To this end, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are characterized by their antimicrobial activity, ability to adhere to epithelial tissues, survival in simulated biological fluids, resistance to technological processes and shelf life.