Staphylococcal Antimicrobial Peptides: Relevant Properties and Potential Biotechnological Applications

Author(s): M. C.F. Bastos , H. Ceotto , M. L.V. Coelho , J. S. Nascimento .

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Volume 10 , Issue 1 , 2009

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Bacteriocins are bacterial antimicrobial peptides with bactericidal activity against other bacteria. Staphylococcins are bacteriocins produced by staphylococci, which are Gram-positive bacteria with medical and veterinary importance. Most bacteriocins produced by staphylococci are either lantibiotics (e.g., Pep5, epidermin, epilancin K7, epicidin 280, staphylococcin C55/BacR1, and nukacin ISK-1) or class II bacteriocins (e.g., aureocins A70 and 53). Only one staphylococcin belonging to class III, lysostaphin, has been described so far. Production of staphylococcins is a selfprotection mechanism that helps staphylococci to survive in their natural habitats. However, since these substances generally have a broad spectrum of activity, inhibiting several human and animal pathogens, they have potential biotechnological applications either as food preservatives or therapeutic agents. Due to the increasing consumer awareness of the risks derived not only from food-borne pathogens, but also from the artificial chemical preservatives used to control them, the interest in the discovery of natural food preservatives has increased considerably. The emergence and dissemination of antibiotic resistance among human and animal pathogens and their association with the use of antibiotics constitute a serious problem worldwide requiring effective measures for controlling their spread. Staphylococcins may be used, solely or in combination with other chemical agents, to avoid food contamination or spoilage and to prevent or treat bacterial infectious diseases. The use of combinations of antimicrobials is common in the clinical setting and expands the spectrum of organisms that can be targeted, prevents the emergence of resistant organisms, decreases toxicity by allowing lower doses of both agents and can result in synergistic inhibition.

Keywords: Bacteriocins, staphylococcins, staphylococci, Staphylococcus, antimicrobial peptides, antimicrobial agents

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Article Details

Year: 2009
Page: [38 - 61]
Pages: 24
DOI: 10.2174/138920109787048580

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