We have previously demonstrated that oral administration of a metabolically active Bifidobacterium breve strain, with ability to form cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), resulted in modulation of the fatty acid composition of the host, including significantly elevated concentrations of c9, t11 CLA and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids in liver and adipose tissue. In this study, we investigated whether a recombinant lactobacillus expressing linoleic acid isomerase (responsible for production of t10, c12 CLA) from Propionibacterium acnes (PAI) could influence the fatty acid composition of different tissues in a mouse model. Linoleic-acid-supplemented diets (2 %, w/w) were fed in combination with either a recombinant t10, c12 CLA-producing Lactobacillus paracasei NFBC 338 (Lb338), or an isogenic (vector-containing) control strain, to BALB/c mice for 8 weeks. A third group of mice received linoleic acid alone (2 %, w/w). Tissue fatty acid composition was assessed by GLC at the end of the trial. Ingestion of the strain expressing linoleic acid isomerase was associated with a 4-fold increase (P < 0.001) in t10, c12 CLA in adipose tissues of the mice when compared with mice that received the isogenic non-CLA-producing strain. The livers of the mice that received the recombinant CLA-producing Lb338 also contained a 2.5-fold (albeit not significantly) higher concentration of t10, c12 CLA, compared to the control group. These data demonstrate that a single gene (encoding linoleic acid isomerase) expressed in an intestinal microbe can influence the fatty acid composition of host fat.