Preparation and preservation of viable Akkermansia muciniphila cells for therapeutic interventions

J.P. Ouwerkerk, S. Aalvink, C. Belzer, Willem de Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The anaerobic gut bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila is a well-characterised member of the mucosal microbiota and has shown to be a gut symbiont in human. A. muciniphila has been negatively associated with obesity and its associated metabolic disorders in various human cohorts while treatment with A. muciniphila cells reversed highfat diet-induced obesity and its associated metabolic disorders in mouse models. Therefore, administration of A. muciniphila has been suggested as a possible new therapeutic treatment for these omnipresent diseases. Here we describe a potentially scalable workflow for the preparation and preservation of high numbers of viable cells of A. muciniphila obtained from 1 l laboratory scale growth under strict anaerobic conditions for therapeutic interventions. This resulted in viable A. muciniphila cells with high yields and very high stability, with up to 97.9±4.5% survival for a time period of 1 year at -80 °C in glycerol-amended medium. Moreover, various quality assessment and control procedures were developed to ensure the use of viable cells of A. muciniphila. Several microscopic, culturing, and molecular approaches were applied to monitor the presence, abundance and recovery of A. muciniphila before, during, and after its administration to high-fat treated mice. We show that viable A. muciniphila cells can be recovered from caecal and colon content (up to 1×1010 cells/g), testifying for the efficiency of the described workflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
JournalBeneficial Microbes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Delivery
  • Laboratory scale production
  • Stability
  • Therapeutic microbe
  • Viability


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