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Bacteriocins and their position in the next wave of conventional antibiotics

Cavera, Veronica L., Arthur, Timothy D., Kashtanov, Dimitri, Chikindas, Michael L.
International journal of antimicrobial agents 2015 v.46 no.5 pp. 494-501
antibiotics, bacteria, bacteriocins, defense mechanisms, drug delivery systems, exotoxins, microbial ecology
Micro-organisms are capable of producing a range of defence mechanisms, including antibiotics, bacteriocins, lytic agents, protein exotoxins, etc. Such mechanisms have been identified in nearly 99% of studied bacteria. The multiplicity and diversity of bacteriocins and the resultant effects of their interactions with targeted bacteria on microbial ecology has been thoroughly studied and remains an area of investigation attracting many researchers. However, the incorporation of bacteriocins into drug delivery systems used in conjunction with, or as potential alternatives to, conventional antibiotics is only a recent, although rapidly expanding, field. The extensive array of bacteriocins positions them as one of the most promising options in the next wave of antibiotics. The goal of this review was to explore bacteriocins as novel antimicrobials, alone and in combination with established antibiotics, and thus position them as a potential tool for addressing the current antibiotic crisis.