Sporevia probiotic can reduce staph colonisation by more than 95%, study finds

Kerry Group’s Sporevia can reduce staph colonisation without adverse effects or microbiome changes

Kerry Group’s probiotic strain Sporevia (Bacillus subtilis MB40) can eliminate Staphylococcus aureus in the human body by more than 95%, a clinical trial has found. Sporevia (Bacillus subtilis MB40) is a probiotic strain owned by Kerry Group following the licensing agreement with the company BIO-CAT Microbials in June 2021.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), commonly known as “staph”, is a pathogen that caused over 119,000 infections and nearly 20,000 deaths in the US in 20171. However, the use of oral antibiotics for staph decolonisation is advised against because of its effect on the gut microbiota and antibiotic resistance2.

The double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was conducted following the discovery that Sporevia secretes fengycin, which has been shown to inhibit S. aureus colonisation. One hundred and fifteen adults from Thailand took part in the study, which was funded by the US National Institutes of Health and the National Research Council of Thailand. All were colonised by S. aureus, either in the intestine, nose, or both, but had no history of intestinal disease, antibiotic treatment, or hospital admission within the previous 90 days2. They received either 250mg of Sporevia* (10 billion CFU) or placebo once a day for 30 days, after which S. aureus colonisation was determined. Oral supplementation with Sporevia resulted in a 96.8% reduction of S. aureus in the stool and a 65.4% reduction of S. aureus in the nose whereas there were no significant differences in the placebo groups.

Furthermore, these levels of decolonisation were achieved without adverse effects or significant microbiome changes. According to the researchers, the findings indicate potential for Bacillus subtilis to be used to lower infection rates in vulnerable individuals, and in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes.

“We were delighted to have Sporevia selected for this study,” said John Menton, PhD, senior product director, digestive health, at Kerry Group. “We have long understood the power of spore-forming probiotics to produce metabolites, enzymes and, depending on the strain, fengycins which may inhibit the growth of deleterious bacteria. In this case the study found that Sporevia produces higher amounts of fengycins than other probiotic strains considered for the study, which made it a great candidate for further research. While we’re not surprised by the conclusions, it’s always great to see hypotheses based on in vitro and animal model data supported by clinical trial results. This study is very encouraging as it demonstrates Sporevia’s potential in bacteria management.”

* The B. subtilis probiotic formula (Sporevia) was purchased from Kerry Group but the suppliers did not have any influence on the study design or interpretation.


1 https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0305-deadly-staph-infections.html

Piewngam, P., Khongthong, S., Roekngam, N., Theapparat, Y., Sunpaweravong, S., Faroongsarng, D., & Otto, M. (2023). Probiotic for pathogen-specific Staphylococcus aureus decolonisation in Thailand: a phase 2, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet. Microbe, 4(2), e75–e83.