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?
- Are Marijuana Warning Labels Needed? Users Say Yes
- Something is wrong in the Arctic
- Order Patterned With Chaos - How Climate Is Predicted For Decades - With Exact Forecasts Only For Days
- Is The X(5568) A True Resonance ?
- John Glenn, Astronaut, and Senator dead at 95. A Milennial Perspective
- Running Sounds May Contain Clues To Injury Prevention
- Time, Wittgenstein And Language Scaffolding
- "Patrick, good to have you back writing about the Arctic condition. Neven has done a wonderful job..."
- "Just to say that I agree with Patrick. Science is not settled by voting and public opinion. Newton..."
- "We should name 2013 FY27 after the Potawatomi God of creation, Kche Mnedo. The Potawatomi are native..."
- "Another reminder. Please can you discuss the ideas rather than call people liars? Neither..."
- "A vigorous supporter of the Petition Project since its inception in 1998, Professor Seitz died..."
- A Possible Antidote for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Surgeon General Declares War on E-Cigarettes But Not Marijuana, Hookah
- NHL's Concussion Protocol, a Closer Look (Part 2)
- Uh-Oh — Smokers Are Drinking the 'Additives Cause the Cancer' Kool-Aid
- A New Way to Prevent HIV Infection
- A Novel Way to Stop HIV