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Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Aug;12(8):1205-20.

Are bacteriocins underexploited? Novel applications for old antimicrobials.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.


Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized (poly)peptides produced by almost all prokaryotic lineages. Bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bacteriocin-producer probiotic organisms have been thoroughly studied due to their wide spectra of action, the long-term use in food fermentations and the consideration of these microorganisms as beneficial for human beings. Most of the studies on the biotechnological application of diverse bacteriocins have been focused on their use as food preservatives, nisin being the prototype successfully used in alimentation. However, bacteriocins from LAB have demonstrated a remarkable potential as therapeutics for medical or veterinary uses, alone or in combination with classical antimicrobials. Their interest is even higher now that the resistance to the antibacterials used in therapeutics is growing. In this review we explore exciting opportunities for bacteriocin and probiotic applications, highlighting the possibilities for new and innovative research in order to give the necessary attention to this type of natural molecules that exhibit a great potential.

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