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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jan 6;20(1). pii: E183. doi: 10.3390/ijms20010183.

Bacteriocins and Bacteriophages: Therapeutic Weapons for Gastrointestinal Diseases?

Author information

1
Istituto di Patologia Speciale Medica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy. lopetusoloris@libero.it.
2
UOC Medicina Interna E Gastroenterologia, Area Gastroenterologia ed Oncologia Medica, Dipartimento di Scienze Gastroenterologiche, Endocrino-Metaboliche e Nefro-Urologiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Roma, Italy. lopetusoloris@libero.it.
3
Istituto di Patologia Speciale Medica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy. estin.gio3@gmail.com.
4
Istituto di Patologia Speciale Medica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy. saviange@libero.it.
5
Istituto di Patologia Speciale Medica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy. francoscaldaferri@gmail.com.
6
UOC Medicina Interna E Gastroenterologia, Area Gastroenterologia ed Oncologia Medica, Dipartimento di Scienze Gastroenterologiche, Endocrino-Metaboliche e Nefro-Urologiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Roma, Italy. francoscaldaferri@gmail.com.
7
Istituto di Patologia Speciale Medica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy. antonio.gasbarrini@unicatt.it.
8
UOC Medicina Interna E Gastroenterologia, Area Gastroenterologia ed Oncologia Medica, Dipartimento di Scienze Gastroenterologiche, Endocrino-Metaboliche e Nefro-Urologiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Roma, Italy. antonio.gasbarrini@unicatt.it.
9
Istituto di Patologia Speciale Medica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy. giovanni.cammarota@unicatt.it.
10
UOC Medicina Interna E Gastroenterologia, Area Gastroenterologia ed Oncologia Medica, Dipartimento di Scienze Gastroenterologiche, Endocrino-Metaboliche e Nefro-Urologiche, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Roma, Italy. giovanni.cammarota@unicatt.it.

Abstract

Bacteriocins are bactericidal peptides, ribosomally synthesized, with an inhibitory activity against diverse groups of undesirable microorganisms. Bacteriocins are produced by both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and to a lesser extent by some archaea. Bacteriophages are viruses that are able to infect bacterial cells and force them to produce viral components, using a lytic or lysogenic cycle. They constitute a large community in the human gut called the phageome, the most abundant part of the gut virome. Bacteriocins and bacteriophages may have an influence on both human health and diseases, thanks to their ability to modulate the gut microbiota and regulate the competitive relationship among the different microorganisms, strains and cells living in the human intestine. In this review, we explore the role of bacteriocins and bacteriophages in the most frequent gastrointestinal diseases by dissecting their interaction with the complex environment of the human gut, analyzing a possible link with extra-intestinal diseases, and speculating on their possible therapeutic application with the end goal of promoting gut health.

KEYWORDS:

antibiotics; bacteriocins; bacteriophages; dysbiosis; gastrointestinal diseases; gut barrier; gut microbiota; virus

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