Scientists at University College Cork have discovered that probiotic bacteria can protect against bacterial infection. The work was carried out in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) in UCC.
The APC, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, was set up investigate the beneficial roles of the bacteria found in the gastro-intestine of healthy humans.
The research group examined a range of beneficial bacteria and found one specific probiotic bacterium (Lactobacillus salivarius UCC118) which was able to kill Listeria monocytogenes, an often lethal pathogen in pregnant women. The probiotic kills the pathogen by producing an antibiotic-like compound called a bacteriocin. Tests showed that Lactobacillus salivarius offered significant protection against Listeria infection but that a strain of non-bacteriocin producing Lactobacillus generated by the researchers did not.
The results of the UCC work clearly demonstrate a role for bacteriocins in protecting the host against potentially lethal infections. The study is the first to clearly demonstrate a mechanism by which probiotic bacteria may act to help improve the health of consumers.
The results may prove to be very significant, in that Listeria monocytogenes is particularly dangerous during pregnancy, and in a number of other high risk groups, but is too rare to warrant vaccination or preventative antibiotic therapy. A probiotic taken during pregnancy could well provide protection against Listeria infection in a form which would be acceptable to expectant mothers.
The study was primarily conducted by Sinead Corr as part of her research towards her PhD, but also involved key contributions from other APC scientists Yin Li and Christian Riedel. The research was supervised by APC Principal Investigators Colin Hill, Cormac Gahan and Paul O’Toole from the Department of Microbiology and the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork.
Bacteriocin production as a mechanism for the antiinfective activity of Lactobacillus salivarius UCC118, Corr et al., (2007) Proceeding National Academy Science USA May 1 2007 vol 104 no. 18 , 7617-7621
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- How A Former Naturopath Can Help Unravel The Trickery of Alternative Medicine
- Can A New Rule Trigger A Second EU Referendum? Petition Signatures Over 10% Of Total Votes Cast
- What Did Earth's Ancient Magnetic Field Look Like?
- Insects Were Already Using Camouflage 100 Million Years Ago
- Finding All-Hadronic Top - Again
- Better Brains With Beer
- Some Celiac Disease May Be Due To Viruses
- "Just a link to add to this article at some point. A good Google document about the sorts of issues..."
- "Oh, okay - there's no reason for them to add up, indeed it's a bit of a coincidence that it turned..."
- "Robert, Out of curiosity I added totalled the Ashcroft figures of both Leave and Remain age groups..."
- "Ugh. Thanks for reminding me about the horrors of Abilify. My father, who is bipolar, was prescribed..."
- "Oops, I certainty didn't mean to suggest anything improper and I hasten to clarify that your comments..."
- How to Feed the World & Other Ways Media Linked to ACSH this Weekend
- Anti-Intellectualism Is Biggest Threat to Modern Society
- Chemistry Can Help Roast the Perfect Coffee Bean
- What Happens To A Soccer Player’s Brain After Missing A Penalty Kick
- It’s Back to Shots for Flu Prevention
- ACSH Applauds Media Awareness of the Fentanyl Crisis
- Researchers open new path of discovery in Parkinson's disease
- A shampoo bottle that empties completely -- every last drop
- Radioactive cesium fallout on Tokyo from Fukushima concentrated in glass microparticles
- Meet the biohackers
- Seeds of black holes could be revealed by gravitational waves detected in space