Bioprospecting Antimicrobials from Lactiplantibacillus plantarum: Key Factors Underlying Its Probiotic Action

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 8;22(21):12076. doi: 10.3390/ijms222112076.


Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) is a well-studied and versatile species of lactobacilli. It is found in several niches, including human mucosal surfaces, and it is largely employed in the food industry and boasts a millenary tradition of safe use, sharing a long-lasting relationship with humans. L. plantarum is generally recognised as safe and exhibits a strong probiotic character, so that several strains are commercialised as health-promoting supplements and functional food products. For these reasons, L. plantarum represents a valuable model to gain insight into the nature and mechanisms of antimicrobials as key factors underlying the probiotic action of health-promoting microbes. Probiotic antimicrobials can inhibit the growth of pathogens in the gut ensuring the intestinal homeostasis and contributing to the host health. Furthermore, they may be attractive alternatives to conventional antibiotics, holding potential in several biomedical applications. The aim of this review is to investigate the most relevant papers published in the last ten years, bioprospecting the antimicrobial activity of characterised probiotic L. plantarum strains. Specifically, it focuses on the different chemical nature, the action spectra and the mechanisms underlying the bioactivity of their antibacterial and antiviral agents. Emerging trends in postbiotics, some in vivo applications of L. plantarum antimicrobials, including strengths and limitations of their therapeutic potential, are addressed and discussed.

Keywords: Lactiplantibacillus plantarum; antibacterial extracellular compound; antiviral extracellular compound; bacteriocin; cell-free supernatant; lactic acid bacteria; organic acid; plantaricin; postbiotic; probiosis; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bioprospecting / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillaceae / chemistry
  • Lactobacillaceae / isolation & purification
  • Lactobacillaceae / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / chemistry
  • Probiotics / metabolism
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents