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?
- Giddings: The 750 GeV Diphoton Resonance Is A Graviton
- Why Your Muscles Get Less Sore As You Stick With Your Gym Routine
- Inconvenient Truth: There Are Synthetic Pesticide Residues On Organic
- No Higgs Needed: 5 Ways Particle Accelerators Have Changed The World
- Future Transatlantic Flight Delays Blamed On Global Warming
- A.I. May Tell Us What's Going To Be Big In Science This Year
- Native Grass Make Super-Thin Condoms
- "(sarc on) Nice try! (sarc off) Typical reply from an uninformed ditto-head alarmist, that is, to..."
- " Not sure what point you are trying to make, but... No, most of the energy emitted from the Earth..."
- "Wow, a blog by a weatherman, that’s convincing. A total Gish gallop of inaccurate observations..."
- "Where can I buy a mug like the one above??..."
- "I have long suspected that the organic lobbyists have been economical with the truth in respect..."
- National Academy of Medicine Supports Replacing Faulty Mitochondrial DNA
- Pregnant & Still Smoking: Better Way Needed To Quit
- ‘Healthy Obesity’ May Be an Oxymoron, Study Says
- Keeping the PBJ, While Chasing NBA Immortality
- The Public Toilet Seat’s Place on the ‘Ick Scale’
- Moms-to-Be: Take Chocolate Benefits With Grain of Salt
- Couch potatoes may have smaller brains later in life
- Iowa State statistician organizes symposium to discuss stronger science behind forensics
- Fish fins can sense touch
- Integrating Neuroscience and Mathematics to Elucidate Mental Activities
- Research into critical national issues at forefront of NSF's FY2017 budget request