, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 1679-1683
Date: 17 May 2007

Antimicrobial activity of various cationic molecules on foodborne pathogens

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Antibacterial effects of various arginine- and lysine-rich polycationic proteins and polymers were evaluated by broth and solid dilution assay on a range of foodborne pathogens, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and the Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) of α-poly-l-lysine (poly-lys), α-poly-l-arginine (poly-arg) and protamines from herring sperm (clupeine sulphate) and salmon sperm (salmine sulphate) were determined on Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella sonnei, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All these molecules showed antibacterial activity on all strains with different MIC and MBC values. The molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of α-poly-l-arginine might be related to the entrance of the molecule into the cell. In fact α-poly-l-arginine labelled with 7-Diethylamino coumarin-3-carboxylic acid, succinimidyl ester (DEAC,SE) showed ability to permeate the cell membrane of B. cereus and E. coli O157:H7.