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NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2017 Dec 1;3:33. doi: 10.1038/s41522-017-0042-1. eCollection 2017.

The rumen microbiome: an underexplored resource for novel antimicrobial discovery.

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Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Wales, SY23 3DA UK.
Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG UK.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein, Leopoldshafen, Germany.
Institute of Infection and Immunity, St. George's University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, SW17 0RE UK.
Specialist Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Unit, Public Health Wales, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XW UK.
Wageningen University & Research, 6708 WE, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Central Marseille, iSm2, Marseille, France.
Centre for Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7BL UK.
School of Pharmacy, Queens's University Belfast, Belfast, BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, UK.
UC Davis, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, California, 95616 USA.
Department of Microbiology, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, 36570-900 Brazil.
Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Medical Biology Centre, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7BL UK.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising drug candidates to target multi-drug resistant bacteria. The rumen microbiome presents an underexplored resource for the discovery of novel microbial enzymes and metabolites, including AMPs. Using functional screening and computational approaches, we identified 181 potentially novel AMPs from a rumen bacterial metagenome. Here, we show that three of the selected AMPs (Lynronne-1, Lynronne-2 and Lynronne-3) were effective against numerous bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). No decrease in MRSA susceptibility was observed after 25 days of sub-lethal exposure to these AMPs. The AMPs bound preferentially to bacterial membrane lipids and induced membrane permeability leading to cytoplasmic leakage. Topical administration of Lynronne-1 (10% w/v) to a mouse model of MRSA wound infection elicited a significant reduction in bacterial counts, which was comparable to treatment with 2% mupirocin ointment. Our findings indicate that the rumen microbiome may provide viable alternative antimicrobials for future therapeutic application.

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