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Review

Enterococcus spp. as a Producer and Target of Bacteriocins: A Double-Edged Sword in the Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis Context

1
UCIBIO–Applied Molecular Biosciences Unit, REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
2
Associate Laboratory i4HB, Institute for Health and Bioeconomy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
3
TOXRUN–Toxicology Research Unit, Department of Sciences, University Institute of Health Sciences, CESPU, CRL, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Calcutt
Antibiotics 2021, 10(10), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10101215
Received: 11 August 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 3 October 2021 / Published: 7 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternatives to Antibiotics: Bacteriocins and Antimicrobial Peptides)
Enterococcus spp. are one of the most frequent producers of bacteriocins (enterocins), which provides them with an advantage to compete in their natural environment, which is the gut of humans and many animals. The enterocins’ activity against microorganisms from different phylogenetic groups has raised interest in Enterococcus spp. in different contexts throughout the last decades, especially in the food industry. Nevertheless, some species can also cause opportunistic life-threatening infections and are frequently multidrug-resistant (MDR). Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), in particular, are an ongoing global challenge given the lack of therapeutic options. In this scenario, bacteriocins can offer a potential solution to this persistent threat, either alone or in combination with other antimicrobials. There are a handful of studies that demonstrate the advantages and applications of bacteriocins, especially against VRE. The purpose of this review is to present a current standpoint about the dual role of Enterococcus spp., from important producers to targets needed to be controlled, and the crucial role that enterocins may have in the expansion of enterococcal populations. Classification and distribution of enterocins, the current knowledge about the bacteriocinome of clinical enterococci, and the challenges of bacteriocin use in the fight against VRE infections are particularly detailed. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; alternatives to antibiotics; bacteriocins; multidrug-resistant infections; enterococci; enterocins; VRE; gut microbiota antimicrobial resistance; alternatives to antibiotics; bacteriocins; multidrug-resistant infections; enterococci; enterocins; VRE; gut microbiota
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MDPI and ACS Style

Almeida-Santos, A.C.; Novais, C.; Peixe, L.; Freitas, A.R. Enterococcus spp. as a Producer and Target of Bacteriocins: A Double-Edged Sword in the Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis Context. Antibiotics 2021, 10, 1215. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10101215

AMA Style

Almeida-Santos AC, Novais C, Peixe L, Freitas AR. Enterococcus spp. as a Producer and Target of Bacteriocins: A Double-Edged Sword in the Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis Context. Antibiotics. 2021; 10(10):1215. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10101215

Chicago/Turabian Style

Almeida-Santos, Ana C., Carla Novais, Luísa Peixe, and Ana R. Freitas 2021. "Enterococcus spp. as a Producer and Target of Bacteriocins: A Double-Edged Sword in the Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis Context" Antibiotics 10, no. 10: 1215. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10101215

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