International Microbiology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 163–174 | Cite as

Microbial production and industrial applications of keratinases: an overview

  • Imania Ghaffar
  • Aqsa Imtiaz
  • Ali Hussain
  • Arshad Javid
  • Faiza Jabeen
  • Muhammad Akmal
  • Javed Iqbal Qazi


Massive production of keratinaceous byproducts in the form of agricultural and industrial wastes throughout the world necessitates its justified utilization. Chemical treatment of keratin waste is proclaimed as an eco-destructive approach by various researchers since it generates secondary pollutants. Microbial degradation of keratin waste is an emerging and eco-friendly approach and offers dual benefits, i.e., treatment of recalcitrant pollutant (keratin) and procurement of a commercially important enzyme (keratinase). This review summarizes the potential utility of some bacterial and fungal species for the production of keratinase using a variety of keratinaceous wastes as growth substrates. The application of microbial keratinases in waste management; animal feed, detergent, and fertilizer manufacturing; and leather, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries is also abridged in this review.


Biodegradation Commercial enzyme Industrial biotechnology Keratin Keratinophilic microbes Microbial keratinases 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imania Ghaffar
    • 1
  • Aqsa Imtiaz
    • 1
  • Ali Hussain
    • 1
  • Arshad Javid
    • 1
  • Faiza Jabeen
    • 2
  • Muhammad Akmal
    • 3
  • Javed Iqbal Qazi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife and EcologyUniversity of Veterinary and Animal SciencesLahorePakistan
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Fisheries and AquacultureUniversity of Veterinary and Animal SciencesLahorePakistan
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyUniversity of the PunjabLahorePakistan

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