Mucosal delivery of therapeutic and prophylactic molecules using lactic acid bacteria

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2008 May;6(5):349-62. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1840.


Studies of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as delivery vehicles have focused mainly on the development of mucosal vaccines, with much effort being devoted to the generation of genetic tools for antigen expression in different bacterial locations. Subsequently, interleukins have been co-expressed with antigens in LAB to enhance the immune response that is raised against the antigen. LAB have also been used as a delivery system for a range of molecules that have different applications, including anti-infectives, therapies for allergic diseases and therapies for gastrointestinal diseases. Now that the first human trial with a Lactococcus strain that expresses recombinant interleukin-10 has been completed, we discuss what we have learnt, what we do not yet understand and what the future holds for therapy and prophylaxis with LAB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Lactic Acid / biosynthesis
  • Lactobacillus / genetics
  • Lactobacillus / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mucous Membrane / microbiology
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Streptococcaceae / genetics
  • Streptococcaceae / immunology*
  • Vaccines, DNA / genetics
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology
  • Vaccines, DNA / therapeutic use*


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Lactic Acid