A new class of antimicrobial molecules derived from kefir, effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains

Many studies have linked the antimicrobial properties of kefir with the presence of bacteriocins and organic acids. In the present work, results obtained from bacteriostatic and bactericidal studies, and from RP-HPLC, Mass Spectrometry and proton NMR analysis, show that a sample of milk kefir grains is able to produce an antimicrobial fraction, denoted FK-1000, composed of sugars and amino acids, predominantly polymers of alanine, doublets of tyrosine and phenylalanine. Since this fraction is a lyophilized product whose molecular profile is different from bacteriocins and simple carboxylic acids, its antimicrobial effect cannot be attributed to these molecules, or to alcohols or hydrogen peroxide. The fraction is bactericidal against weak-acid-resistant MRSA and weak-acid resistant P. aeruginosa at pH 5, and is bacteriostatic against both pathogens at pH 7. In combination formulation, the FK-1000 fraction is able to increase fivefold the effect of streptomycin against P. aeruginosa and it is not toxic to human epithelial cells at antimicrobial concentrations. 16 S rRNA microbiota analysis of antimicrobial-producing and non-producing kefir grains demonstrated that they are distinct. In summary, the results indicate that milk kefir grains can produce different classes of molecules with potent antibiotic activity against resistant bacteria.
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drug discovery;  Microbiology

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Marques VD, Franzolin MR, Sanabani SS, Vigerelli H, Piazza RMF, Pimenta DC, et al. A new class of antimicrobial molecules derived from kefir, effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. Sci. Rep.. 2020 Oct;10:17434. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-73651-7.
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