Modified lactic acid bacteria detect and inhibit multiresistant enterococci

Juan Borrero, Yuqing Chen, Gary M. Dunny, Yiannis N. Kaznessis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We designed Lactococcus lactis to detect Enterococcus faecalis. Upon detection, L. lactis produce and secrete antienterococcal peptides. The peptides inhibit enterococcal growth and reduce viability of enterococci in the vicinity of L. lactis. The enterococcal sex pheromone cCF10 serves as the signal for detection. Expression vectors derived from pCF10, a cCF10-responsive E. faecalis sex-pheromone conjugative plasmid, were engineered in L. lactis for the detection system. Recombinant host strains were engineered to express genes for three bacteriocins, enterocin A, hiracin JM79 and enterocin P, each with potent antimicrobial activity against E. faecalis. Sensitive detection and specific inhibition occur both in agar and liquid media. The engineered L. lactis also inhibited growth of multidrug-resistant E. faecium strains, when induced by cCF10. The presented vectors and strains can be components of a toolbox for the development of alternative antibiotic technologies targeting enterococci at the site of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 20 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Chemical Society.


  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Lactococcus lactis
  • drug delivery vector
  • lactic acid bacteria
  • recombinant plasmids


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