In this study, a total of 29 Propionibacterium spp. were isolated from traditional home-made Turkish cheese samples. As a result of the identification, isolates were identified as Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. freudenreichii (15 strains), Propionibacterium jensenii (12), and Propionibacterium thoenii (2). All isolates and 5 reference strains were examined for their abilities to survive at pH 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and in the presence of 0.06, 0.15 and 0.30% bile salts, their influence on the growth of food-borne and spoilage bacteria, as well as their sensitivity against 11 selected antibiotics. Only seven propionibacteria strains survived in both the acidic and bile salt environments. Propionibacterium spp. strains strongly inhibited growth of the Escherichia coli ATCC 11229 and Shigella sonnei Mu:57 strains (91%). All propionibacteria strains were sensitive to a majority of the antibiotics used in the investigations. Overall, dairy propionibacteria showed high antibacterial activity, resistance to pH 4.0, 5.0, high resistance to bile salts and will provide an alternative source to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium as probiotic culture. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.