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Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances

Year: 2014  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 144 - 163

Enzybiotics: New Weapon in the Army of Antimicrobials: A Review

Ruchi Tiwari, Kuldeep Dhama, Sandip Chakraborty and Sanjay Kapoor

Abstract

As promising antibacterials, endolysins own several pertinent features viz., diverse novel mode of action, antibacterial spectrum, low probability of developing resistance and being highly active with explicit specificity against host bacteria. Bacteriophage endolysins are mureolytic enzymes which facilitate direct targeting of peptidoglycan bonds in the bacterial cell wall. Encoded by the bacteriophage genome they are synthesized at the end of the phage lytic life cycle, headed for lysing host cell and releasing newly produced virions. In addition to this “lysis from within”, endolysins from phages of gram-positive hosts are also able to swiftly lyse bacteria upon exogenous application. Lysozyme as well as endopeptidase like lysostaphine have been recommended in neonatal streptococcal and staphylococcal infection, respectively. Literature reveals strong potential of phage enzymes in human health care and veterinary medicine for control of pathogens and treatment of diverse systemic infections. They have wide applications in pathogen detection and development of diagnostics, as a means of biodefence, eliminating food pathogens and in control of phytopathogens. The defensins and cathelicidins can be exploited as enzybiotics among other families of antimicrobial peptide gene. In innate immunity such antibiotic peptides that are endogenous in nature play crucial role and forms first line of defense for protecting internal as well as external body surfaces of the host. The important portals of enzybiotics (EnzyBase and phiBIOTICS) are playing crucial role for disseminating the state of knowledge of enzybiotics. The present review discusses the widespread potential of various bacteriophage lysins/enzybiotics in the perspective of future antibacterial drug development.

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