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Biotechnol J. 2013 Jan;8(1):97-109. doi: 10.1002/biot.201200313.

Antimicrobial enzymes: an emerging strategy to fight microbes and microbial biofilms.

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Graz University of Technology, Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, Graz, Austria.


With the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial enzymes aimed at the disruption of bacterial cellular machinery and biofilm formation are under intense investigation. Several enzyme-based products have already been commercialized for application in the healthcare, food and biomedical industries. Successful removal of complex biofilms requires the use of multi-enzyme formulations that contain enzymes capable of degrading microbial DNA, polysaccharides, proteins and quorum-sensing molecules. The inclusion of anti-quorum sensing enzymes prevents biofilm reformation. The development of effective complex enzyme formulations is urgently needed to deal with the problems associated with biofilm formation in manufacturing, environmental protection and healthcare settings. Nevertheless, advances in synthetic biology, enzyme engineering and whole DNA-Sequencing technologies show great potential to facilitate the development of more effective antimicrobial and anti-biofilm enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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