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Biometals. 2010 Jun;23(3):569-78. doi: 10.1007/s10534-010-9306-4. Epub 2010 Mar 2.

Bactericidal effect of bovine lactoferrin, LFcin, LFampin and LFchimera on antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

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Programa para el Doctorado en Biotecnología, Facultad de Ciencias Químico-Biológicas de la Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Av. Americas y Blvd, Universitarios, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico.


Increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has become a major threat to the health sector worldwide due to their virulence, limited therapeutic options and distribution in both hospital and community settings. Discovery and development of new agents to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria is thus needed. This study therefore aimed to evaluate the ability of bovine lactoferrin (LF), peptides from two antimicrobial domains lactoferricin B (LFcin17-30) and lactoferrampin (LFampin265-284) and a chimeric construct (LFchimera) containing both peptides, as potential bactericidal agents against clinical isolates of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Results in kinetics of growth show that LF chimera and peptides inhibited the growth of both bacterial species. By confocal microscopy and flow cytometry it was observed that LF and FITC-labeled peptides are able to interact with these bacteria and cause membrane permeabilization, as monitored by propidium iodide staining, these effects were decreased by preincubation with lipopolysaccharide in E. coli. By electron microscopy, a clear cellular damage was observed in bacteria after treatments with LFchimera and peptides, suggesting that interaction and membrane disruption are probably involved as a mechanism of action. In conclusion, results show that LFchimera, LF and peptides have potential as bactericidal agents in the antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus and E. coli and also the work strongly suggest that LFcin17-30 and LFampin265-284 acts synergistically with antibiotics against multidrug resistant EPEC and MRSA in vitro.

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