Beneficial Microbes - Coordinator: Vitali

Molecular and functional characterization of human microbiota and probiotic microorganisms. Study of the interactions between mutualistic bacteria, pathogens and host.

Research themes

  • Characterization of human microbial ecosystems. Phylogenetic analysis using molecular techniques based on the 16S rRNA gene, and functional analysis by means of metabolomic and proteomic approaches. Study of the interactions between mutualistic bacteria, pathogens and cellular epithelium of the host. 
  • Study of the health-promoting effects of probiotic bacteria. Study of the molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic activities of probiotic bacteria: production of antimicrobial metabolites, ability to form biofilms, modulation of cellular epithelial membrane functions, interaction with the immune system. 
  • Selection/characterization of bacterial strains and metabolites/derivatives for the development of probiotic formulations. New health-promoting strains, belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and their metabolites/derivatives are characterized in terms of antimicrobial activities, interactions with epithelial tissues, compatibility with the biological fluids and with technological processes used for their formulation. 

Lab Members

Beatrice Vitali, Associate Professor

Carola Parolin, Senior Assistant Professor

Vanessa Croatti, PhD student

Asia Pizzi, PhD student

Barbara Giordani, Research Fellow

Federica Monti, Research Fellow

Aurora Botti, Research Fellow

Job openings or internship projects 

Internship positions are available for the above-mentioned research topics.


Main publications

  • Giordani, B., Parolin, C., Abruzzo, A., Foschi, C., Marangoni, A., Luppi, B., Vitali, B. (2023)."Limosilactobacillus vaginalis exerts bifidogenic effects: a novel postbiotic strategy for infant prebiotic supplementation". Nutrients, 15(20), 4433.
  • Giordani, B., Naldi, M., Croatti, V., Parolin, C., Erdoğan, Ü., Bartolini, M., Vitali, B. (2023). "Exopolysaccharides from vaginal lactobacilli modulate microbial biofilms". Microbial cell factories, 22(1), 45.

  • Croatti, V., Parolin, C., Giordani, B., Foschi, C., Fedi, S., Vitali, B., (2022). “Lactobacilli extracellular vesicles: potential postbiotics to support the vaginal microbiota homeostasis”, Microbial Cell Factories, 21, Article number: 237, pp. 1 – 11. 
  • De Gregorio, P. R., Parolin, C., Abruzzo, A., Luppi, B., Protti, M., Mercolini, L., Silva, J. A., Giordani, B., Marangoni, A., Nader-Macías, M. E. F., Vitali, B. (2020). “Biosurfactant from vaginal Lactobacillus crispatus BC1 as a promising agent to interfere with Candida” Microbial Cell Factories 19: 1475-2859.  
  • Ñahui Palomino, R. A, Vanpouille, C., Laghi, L., Parolin, C., Melikov, K., Backlund, P., Vitali, B., Margolis. (2019). “Extracellular vesicles from symbiotic vaginal lactobacilli inhibit HIV-1 infection of human tissues.” Nature Communications 10: 5656.