Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Feb;72(2):1459-66.

Production of the lantibiotic salivaricin A and its variants by oral streptococci and use of a specific induction assay to detect their presence in human saliva.

Author information

BLIS Technologies Ltd., Dunedin, New Zealand.


Salivaricin A (SalA), the first Streptococcus salivarius lantibiotic to be characterized, appears to be inhibitory to most Streptococcus pyogenes strains. A variant of the SalA structural gene (salA1) is present in more than 90% of S. pyogenes strains, but only strains of M serotype 4 and T pattern 4 produce the biologically active peptide. The present study identifies four additional variants (salA2 to salA5) of the SalA structural gene and demonstrates that each of the corresponding inhibitory peptides (SalA2 to SalA5) is produced in vitro. These variants appear to be similar to SalA and SalA1 in their inhibitory activity against Micrococcus luteus and in their ability to act as inducers of SalA production. It had previously been shown that S. pyogenes strain SF370 had a deletion (of approximately 2.5 kb) in the salM and salT genes of the salA1 locus. In the present study, several additional characteristic deletions within the salA1 loci were identified. S. pyogenes strains of the same M serotype all share the same salA1 locus structure. Since S. salivarius is a predominant member of the normal oral flora of healthy humans, strains producing anti-S. pyogenes lantibiotics, such as SalA, may have excellent potential for use as oral probiotics. In the present study, we have used a highly specific SalA induction system to directly detect the presence of SalA in the saliva of humans who either naturally harbor populations of SalA-producing S. salivarius or who have been colonized with the SalA2-producing probiotic S. salivarius K12.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center