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?
- Questions a Surface Pro 3 user has about windows 10.
- Wind Turbine Or Tree? Bats Can't Tell
- Top Mass: CMS Again On Top!
- Epigenetics Of Being Without Electricity For A Few Days
- The Enemy Of Archaeology Is Not People, It's Salt
- Science Graduates Are Not Good At Math – But Why?
- Depression Surveys Linked To Unnecessary Antidepressant Prescriptions
- "It will run both the start screen and the desktop. I am really excited about windows 10, and the..."
- "You will be able to switch between the 2 modes for hybrid devices / automatically switch based..."
- "I'm sure you meant SSD, not SDD...."
- "Everyone over 40 should be taking the Cologuard test recently OKed by the FDA. This is a non-invasive..."
- "From your comment the only conclusion is that you have a basic, rudimentary and even wrong understanding..."
- Third of countries struggling to meet the needs of aging population
- Rehospitalization in younger patients
- Diuretics in proton pump inhibitor-associated hypomagnesemia
- At dusk and dawn: Scientists pinpoint biological clock's synchronicity
- Low social support linked to poor health in young heart attack survivors