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Immunobiosis and probiosis: antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria with a focus on their antiviral and antifungal properties

Arena, Mattia Pia, Capozzi, Vittorio, Russo, Pasquale, Drider, Djamel, Spano, Giuseppe, Fiocco, Daniela
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.23 pp. 9949-9958
adverse effects, antifungal properties, biopreservatives, carbohydrates, fermented foods, fungi, humans, immune response, lactic acid, lactic acid bacteria, probiotics
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), a heterogeneous group of bacteria that produce lactic acid as the main product of carbohydrate degradation, play an important role in the production and protection of fermented foods. Moreover, beside the technological use of these microorganisms added to control and steer food fermentations, their beneficial healthy properties are largely overt. Thus, numerous LAB strains have obtained the probiotic status, which entails the ability to maintain and promote a good health of consumers. In particular, increasing consideration is being focused on probiotic microorganisms that can improve the human immune response against dangerous viral and fungal enemies. For such beneficial microbes, the term “immunobiotics” has been coined. Together with an indirect host-mediated adverse effect against undesirable microorganisms, also a direct antagonistic activity of several LAB strains has been largely demonstrated. The purpose of this review is to provide a fullest possible overview of the antiviral and antifungal activities ascribed to probiotic LAB. The interest in this research field is substantiated by a large number of studies exploring the potential application of these beneficial microorganisms both as biopreservatives and immune-enhancers, aiming to reduce and/or eliminate the use of chemical agents to prevent the development of pathogenic, infectious, and/or degrading causes.