Potential Applications of Antimicrobial Fatty Acids in Medicine, Agriculture and Other Industries

Author(s): Andrew P. Desbois.

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery

Volume 7 , Issue 2 , 2012


The antimicrobial effects of free fatty acids are well recognised and these compounds can prevent the growth of or directly kill bacteria, fungi and other microbes by affecting multiple cellular targets, including the cell membrane and components found therein. Moreover, fatty acids exert detrimental effects on microbial pathogens by interfering with mechanisms of virulence, such as preventing biofilm formation and inhibiting the production of toxins and enzymes. The antimicrobial properties of free fatty acids can be exploited for the preservation of perishable products, such as food and cosmetics, and for the prevention and treatment of infections. These safe natural products are particularly useful in circumstances where antimicrobial activity is required but where the use of conventional antibiotics is undesirable or forbidden. This review focuses on the most promising prospects for exploiting the antimicrobial properties of free fatty acids for applications in various industries. The benefits of using fatty acids as antimicrobial agents are discussed and relevant recent patents are highlighted.

Keywords: Antibacterial, antifungal, decolonisation, disinfectant, growth promoter, lauric acid, mastitis, wound therapy

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [111 - 122]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/157489112801619728
Price: $100

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