Kerry’s Sporevia probiotic reduced staph colonization by more than 95% in new human study


The results are promising given that antibiotic drugs typically prescribed for staph decolonization can lead to negative gut microbiota and antibiotic-resistance effects.

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A new study showed that Kerry Group’s (Tralee, Ireland) Sporevia probiotic strain reduced colonization of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in the human body by more than 95%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections of the pathogenic S. aureus, most commonly known as “staph,” caused close to 119,000 infections and nearly 20,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017. The new double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial1 was conducted after it was discovered that Sporevia secretes fengycin, a lipopeptide shown to inhibit colonization of S. aureus.

The study was conducted in Thailand on 115 adults. Researchers purchased Sporevia from Kerry Group, but Kerry did not have any influence on the study’s design or interpretation, the company points out. The study was sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Research Council of Thailand.

In the study, all subjects were colonized by S. aureus either in the intestine, nose, or both. The subjects were then given 250 mg of Sporevia (containing 10 billion colony-forming units), or a placebo, once daily for 30 days. Following the supplementation period, researchers measured subjects’ S. aureus colonization. They found that 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. In placebo subjects, there were no significant changes in S. aureus.

The company says these study results are promising given that oral antibiotic drugs typically prescribed for staph decolonization can lead to negative gut microbiota and antibiotic-resistance effects. The researchers suggest that Sporevia could be used to lower infection rates in vulnerable individuals and/or could be used in nursing homes. In a press release, the company says that the decrease in S. aureus did not come with any adverse effects on the microbiome.

“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,” said John Menton, PhD, Kerry Group’s senior product director of digestive health, in a press release. “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.”

Kerry Group owns the Sporevia probiotic strain, Bacillus subtilis MB40, following a licensing agreement with Bio-Cat Microbials (Troy, VA) in 2021.


  1. Piewngam, P.; Khongthong, S.; Roekngam, N.; et al. Probiotic for Pathogen-Specific Staphylococcus aureus Decolonisation in Thailand: A Phase 2, Double-Blind, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Lancet Microbe. 2023, 4 (2), e75-e83. DOI: 10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00322-6
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