Heterologous surface display on Gram-positive bacteria was first described almost a decade ago and has since then developed into an active research area. Gram-positive bacterial surface display has today found a range of applications, in immunology, microbiology and biotechnology. Live bacterial vaccine delivery vehicles are being developed through the surface display of selected foreign antigens on the bacterial surfaces. In this field, "second generation" vaccine delivery vehicles are at present being generated by the addition of mucosal targeting signals through co-display of adhesins, in order to achieve targeting of the live bacteria to immunoreactive sites to thereby increase immune responses. Engineered Gram-positive bacteria are further being evaluated as novel microbial biocatalysts with heterologous enzymes immobilized as surface exposed on the bacterial cell surface. A discussion has started whether bacteria can find use as new types of whole-cell diagnostic devices since single-chain antibodies and other variants of tailor-made binding proteins can be displayed on bacteria. Bacteria with increased binding capacity for certain metal ions can be created and potential environmental or biosensor applications for such recombinant bacteria as biosorbents are being discussed. This article explains the basis of Gram-positive bacterial surface display, and discusses current uses and possible future trends of this emerging technology.
Keywords: Surface Display, Gram Positive Bacteria, CELL WALL BOUND PROTEINS, Bordetella pertussis, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus gordinii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Mycobacterium bovis, lipoprotein Mtb19, Salmonella