Mobilization of Microbiota Commensals and Their Bacteriocins for Therapeutics

Trends Microbiol. 2019 Aug;27(8):690-702. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2019.03.007. Epub 2019 Apr 12.


With the specter of resurgence of pathogens due to the propagation of antibiotic-resistance genes, innovative antimicrobial strategies are needed. In this review, we summarize the beneficial aspects of bacteriocins, a set of miscellaneous peptide-based bacterium killers, compared with classical antibiotics, and emphasize their use in cocktails to curb the emergence of new resistance. We highlight that their prey spectrum, their molecular malleability, and their multiple modes of production might lead to specific and personalized treatments to prevent systemic disorders. Complementarily, we discuss how we might exploit prevailing bacterial commensals, such as Streptococcus salivarius, and deliberately mobilize their bacteriocin arsenal 'on site' to cure multiresistant infections or finely reshape the endogenous microbiota for prophylaxis purposes.

Keywords: Streptococcus salivarius; antibiotic multiresistance; bacteriocins; cell–cell communication; predation; probiotic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bacteriocins / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Microbiota
  • Symbiosis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacteriocins