Bacteriocins - a viable alternative to antibiotics?

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Feb;11(2):95-105. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2937. Epub 2012 Dec 24.


Solutions are urgently required for the growing number of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacteriocins, which are antimicrobial peptides produced by certain bacteria, might warrant serious consideration as alternatives to traditional antibiotics. These molecules exhibit significant potency against other bacteria (including antibiotic-resistant strains), are stable and can have narrow or broad activity spectra. Bacteriocins can even be produced in situ in the gut by probiotic bacteria to combat intestinal infections. Although the application of specific bacteriocins might be curtailed by the development of resistance, an understanding of the mechanisms by which such resistance could emerge will enable researchers to develop strategies to minimize this potential problem.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteriocins / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / physiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacteriocins