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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 Jun;45(6):1808-15.

Detection and activity of lactacin B, a bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus acidophilus.


A total of 52 strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus were examined for production of bacteriocins. A majority (63%) demonstrated inhibitory activity against all members of a four-species grouping of Lactobacillus leichmannii, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Lactobacillus lactis. Four L. acidophilus strains with this activity also inhibited Streptococcus faecalis and Lactobacillus fermentum, suggesting a second system of antagonism. Under conditions eliminating the effects of organic acids and hydrogen peroxide, no inhibition of other gram-positive or -negative genera was demonstrated by L. acidophilus. The agent produced by L. acidophilus N2 and responsible for inhibition of L. leichmannii, L. bulgaricus, L. helveticus, and L. lactis was investigated. Ultrafiltration studies indicated a molecular weight of approximately 100,000 for the crude inhibitor. The agent was sensitive to proteolytic enzymes and retained full activity after 60 min at 100 degrees C (pH 5). Activity against sensitive cells was bactericidal but not bacteriolytic. These characteristics identified the inhibitory agent as a bacteriocin, designated lactacin B. Examination of strains of L. acidophilus within the six homology groupings of Johnson et al. (Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 30:53-68, 1980) demonstrated that production of the bacteriocin lactacin B could not be used in classification of neotype L. acidophilus strains. However, the usefulness of employing sensitivity to lactacin B in classification of dairy lactobacilli is suggested.

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