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J Appl Microbiol. 2011 Feb;110(2):431-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04900.x. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Predation of human pathogens by the predatory bacteria Micavibrio aeruginosavorus and Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.

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Department of Oral Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ 07101, USA.



The focus of this study was to evaluate the potential use of the predatory bacteria Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus to control the pathogens associated with human infection.


By coculturing B. bacteriovorus 109J and M. aeruginosavorus ARL-13 with selected pathogens, we have demonstrated that predatory bacteria are able to attack bacteria from the genus Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Bordetella, Burkholderia, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Listonella, Morganella, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Serratia, Shigella, Vibrio and Yersinia. Predation was measured in single and multispecies microbial cultures as well as on monolayer and multilayer preformed biofilms. Additional experiments aimed at assessing the optimal predation characteristics of M. aeruginosavorus demonstrated that the predator is able to prey at temperatures of 25-37°C but is unable to prey under oxygen-limiting conditions. In addition, an increase in M. aeruginosavorus ARL-13 prey range was also observed.


Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and M. aeruginosavorus have an ability to prey and reduce many of the multidrug-resistant pathogens associated with human infection.


Infectious complications caused by micro-organisms that have become resistant to drug therapy are an increasing problem in medicine, with more infections becoming difficult to treat using traditional antimicrobial agents. The work presented here highlights the potential use of predatory bacteria as a biological-based agent for eradicating multidrug-resistant bacteria, with the hope of paving the way for future studies in animal models.

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