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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 Aug;55(8):1901-6.

Antibacterial activity of Lactobacillus sake isolated from meat.

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  • 1Federal Centre for Meat Research, Institute of Microbiology, Toxicology, and Histology, Federal Republic of Germany.


A total of 221 strains of Lactobacillus isolated from meat and meat products were screened for antagonistic activities under conditions that eliminated the effects of organic acids and hydrogen peroxide. Nineteen strains of Lactobacillus sake, three strains of Lactobacillus plantarum, and one strain of Lactobacillus curvatus were shown to inhibit the growth of some other lactobacilli in an agar spot test; and cell-free supernatants from 6 of the 19 strains of L. sake exhibited inhibitory activity against indicator organisms. Comparison of the antimicrobial spectra of the supernatants suggested that the inhibitory compounds were not identical. One of the six strains, L. sake Lb 706, was chosen for further study. The compound excreted by L. sake Lb 706 was active against various lactic acid bacteria and Listeria monocytogenes. Its proteinaceous nature, narrow inhibitory spectrum, and bactericidal mode of action indicated that this substance is a bacteriocin, which we designated sakacin A. Curing experiments with two bacteriocin-producing strains of L. sake resulted in mutants that lacked both bacteriocin activity and immunity to the bacteriocin. Plasmid profile analysis of L. sake Lb 706 and two bacteriocin-negative variants of this strain indicated that a plasmid of about 18 megadaltons may be involved in the formation of bacteriocin and immunity to this antibacterial compound. In mixed culture, the bacteriocin-sensitive organisms were killed after the bacteriocin-producing strain reached maximal cell density, whereas there was no decrease in cell number in the presence of the bacteriocin-negative variant.

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