Probiotic engineering : towards development of robust probiotic strains with enhanced functional properties and for targeted control of enteric pathogens

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • SDG 2
  • Abstract:

    There is a growing concern about the increase in human morbidity and mortality caused by foodborne pathogens. Antibiotics were and still are used as the first line of defense against these pathogens, but an increase in the development of bacterial antibiotic resistance has led to a need for alternative effective interventions. Probiotics are used as dietary supplements to promote gut health and for prevention or alleviation of enteric infections. They are currently used as generics, thus making them non-specific for different pathogens. A good understanding of the infection cycle of the foodborne pathogens as well as the virulence factors involved in causing an infection can offer an alternative treatment with specificity. This specificity is attained through the bioengineering of probiotics, a process by which the specific gene of a pathogen is incorporated into the probiotic. Such a process will subsequently result in the inhibition of the pathogen and hence its infection. Recombinant probiotics offer an alternative novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of foodborne infections. This review article focuses on various strategies of bioengineered probiotics, their successes, failures and potential future prospects for their applications.