Exploring the Antimicrobial Potential of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum PA21

Jenn Hoskins
7th June, 2024

Exploring the Antimicrobial Potential of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum PA21

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Universiti Putra Malaysia studied postbiotic metabolites from Lactiplantibacillus plantarum to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • These metabolites showed significant antimicrobial activity against multi-drug resistant pathogens like MRSA and Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • The study suggests postbiotic metabolites could be an alternative to traditional antibiotics, potentially reducing antibiotic resistance
Antimicrobial resistance has become a significant challenge in healthcare, largely driven by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. This resistance complicates the treatment of infections and increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death. A recent study conducted by researchers at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) aims to tackle this issue by exploring the antimicrobial properties of postbiotic metabolites derived from lactic acid bacteria, specifically Lactiplantibacillus plantarum[1]. Lactic acid bacteria, which are commonly found in fermented foods and the human gut, produce various metabolites during fermentation. These metabolites, known as postbiotics, have been shown to possess health benefits, including antimicrobial properties. The UPM study focused on identifying specific postbiotic metabolites from Lactiplantibacillus plantarum that could potentially inhibit the growth of multi-drug resistant pathogens. The study builds on earlier research that has demonstrated the diverse and beneficial roles of lactic acid bacteria. For instance, the genus Lactobacillus, which includes Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, has been extensively studied for its probiotic properties and its ability to modulate the immune system[2]. Furthermore, a novel strain of Lactobacillus plantarum, Probio-88, has been shown to inhibit the replication of SARS-COV-2 and reduce inflammation[3]. These findings underscore the potential of lactic acid bacteria and their metabolites in combating various pathogens. In the UPM study, researchers isolated and cultured Lactiplantibacillus plantarum in a controlled environment to produce postbiotic metabolites. They then tested these metabolites against a range of multi-drug resistant pathogens to evaluate their antimicrobial efficacy. The pathogens included strains known for causing hospital-acquired infections, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, which has shown significant resistance to multiple antibiotics[4]. The results were promising. The postbiotic metabolites exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against several multi-drug resistant pathogens. This suggests that these metabolites could serve as an alternative or complementary approach to traditional antibiotics, potentially reducing the reliance on antibiotics and slowing the development of resistance. The study employed various methods to identify and characterize the active compounds within the postbiotic metabolites. Techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry were used to isolate and analyze the chemical structure of these compounds. The researchers found that certain metabolites, including organic acids, bacteriocins, and other antimicrobial peptides, were particularly effective in inhibiting pathogen growth. One of the key advantages of using postbiotic metabolites is their potential to target pathogens without disrupting the beneficial microbiota in the human body. This selective antimicrobial action could help maintain a healthy microbial balance, which is crucial for overall health and immune function. Additionally, the use of postbiotics could mitigate the side effects commonly associated with antibiotics, such as gastrointestinal disturbances and the development of secondary infections. The findings of the UPM study align with and expand upon previous research on the antimicrobial properties of lactic acid bacteria. For example, the study on Klebsiella pneumoniae highlighted the need for new therapeutic options due to the pathogen's increasing resistance to antibiotics[4]. The UPM study offers a potential solution by demonstrating that postbiotic metabolites from Lactiplantibacillus plantarum can effectively combat such resistant pathogens. In conclusion, the UPM study provides valuable insights into the potential of postbiotic metabolites as a novel approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance. By harnessing the natural antimicrobial properties of lactic acid bacteria, researchers may be able to develop new treatments that are both effective and sustainable. This research represents a significant step forward in the ongoing battle against multi-drug resistant pathogens and underscores the importance of exploring alternative strategies in the fight against infectious diseases.



Main Study

1) Genome mining of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum PA21: insights into its antimicrobial potential

Published 6th June, 2024


Related Studies

2) A taxonomic note on the genus Lactobacillus: Description of 23 novel genera, emended description of the genus Lactobacillus Beijerinck 1901, and union of Lactobacillaceae and Leuconostocaceae.


3) Potential Adjuvant Therapeutic Effect of Lactobacillus plantarum Probio-88 Postbiotics against SARS-COV-2.


4) Community- and Hospital-Acquired Klebsiella pneumoniae Urinary Tract Infections in Portugal: Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance.


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