Engineering commensal bacteria for prophylaxis against infection

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Dec;23(6):924-30. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


Infectious diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide. The development of efficient and low cost prophylactics to prevent pathogenic infection is given high priority in the twenty-first century. Commensal bacteria are largely seen as harmless and can survive symbiotically (in many cases) in niches throughout the human body. Advances in genetic engineering and understanding of pathogenesis have revealed many potential strategies to develop engineered bacteria for prophylaxis purposes: including live vaccines and anti-infective agents. In this review, we discuss recent advances and potentialities of prophylaxis with engineered bacteria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Virulence / genetics
  • Viruses / immunology
  • Viruses / pathogenicity


  • Vaccines, Synthetic