Outbreaks of food contamination by bacteria have brought global awareness to E. coli strains in hamburger, spinach, and sprouts; Salmonella in eggs and poultry; and listeria in dairy products. These contaminations have become a growing problem that is compounded by the increasing resistance of many of these organisms to antibiotics.
Purocin proteins bind to unique molecules on the surface of the target bacteria and kill those bacteria specifically. This allows for the therapeutics to be extremely specific against selected strains of pathogenic bacteria without unintended impact on the commensal bacteria. The therapeutics also destroy bacteria by a unique mechanism of action that is unaffected by mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. Laboratory research has shown Purocin proteins not only to be non-toxic and biodegradable, but highly potent against targeted bacteria. Pylum is currently developing additional Purocin proteins for food safety, including those targeting Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria.
Due to their great specificity and apparent safety, Purocin proteins offer a promising new technology for protecting the food supply from bacterial contaminants. Purocin proteins can be created for addressing specific bacterial threats and reducing the need for use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.