Lacticin 3147 is a dual-acting two-peptide bacteriocin which is generally active against Gram-positive bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria such as Closteroides difficile in the colon. L. monocytogenes infections can cause life-long effects in the elderly and vulnerable and can cause severe complications in pregnant women. C. difficile causes one of the most common healthcare-associated infections and can be fatal in vulnerable groups such as the elderly. Although lacticin 3147 is degraded by intestinal proteases and has poor aqueous solubility, encapsulation of the bacteriocin could enable its use as an antimicrobial for treating these bacterial infections locally in the gastrointestinal tract. Lacticin 3147 displayed activity in aqueous solutions at a range of pH values and in gastric and intestinal fluids. Exposure to trypsin and α-chymotrypsin resulted in complete inactivation, implying that lacticin 3147 should be protected from these enzymes to achieve successful local delivery to the gastrointestinal tract. The amount of lacticin 3147 dissolved, i.e. its solution concentration, in water or buffered solutions at pH 1.6 and 7.4 was low and varied with time but increased and was stabilized in gastrointestinal fluids by the phospholipid and bile salt components present. Thus, the feasibility of a solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) delivery system for local administration of lacticin 3147 was investigated. Bacteriocin activity was observed after encapsulation and release from a lipid matrix. Moreover, activity was seen after exposure to degrading enzymes. Further optimization of SLN delivery systems could enable the successful pharmaceutical development of active lacticin 3147 as an alternative to traditional antibiotics.
Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Bacteriocins; Drug delivery; Lacticin 3147; Physicochemical properties; Solid lipid nanoparticles.