Antibacterial and Anti-biofilm Activity of the Human Breast Milk Glycoprotein Lactoferrin against Group B Streptococcus.
Chembiochem. 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23. PMID: 33755306
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is an encapsulated Gram-positive human pathogen that causes invasive infections in pregnant hosts and neonates, as well as immunocompromised individuals. Colonization of the human host requires the ability to adhere to mucosal surfaces and circumnavigate the nutritional challenges and antimicrobial defenses associated with the innate immune response. Biofilm formation is a critical process to facilitate GBS survival and establishment of a replicative niche in the vertebrate host. Previous work has shown that the host responds to GBS infection by producing the innate antimicrobial glycoprotein lactoferrin, which has been implicated in repressing bacterial growth and biofilm formation. Additionally, lactoferrin is highly abundant in human breast milk and could serve a protective role against invasive microbial pathogens. This study demonstrates that human breast milk lactoferrin has antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity against GBS and inhibits its adherence to human gestational membranes. Together, these results indicate that human milk lactoferrin could be used as a prebiotic chemotherapeutic strategy to limit the impact of bacterial adherence and biofilm formation on GBS-associated disease outcomes.