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Vibriocins are a group of bacteriocins produced by, and active against, gram-negative bacteria in the genus Vibrio. They were first discovered in 1962,[1] considerably after the original bacteriocins, the colicins, which were discovered in 1925.

Like other bacteriocins, vibriocins are protein toxins.[2] They can kill bacteria beyond the genus Vibrio, including other proteobacteria.[3] They have been used for abortive classification schemes of the vibrio,[4][5][6] particularly to type various kinds of cholera, against which they were thought to have potential as antibiotics. Their mode of action,[7][8] genetics and regulation[9] have all been studied, for at least one example. In all likelihood, however, they are as common and as diverse as the colicins, making it very unlikely that these initial experiments have fully explored the range of mechanisms and forms that the vibriocins take.[original research?]

In the 1970s, they were investigated, along with some colicins, as potential chemotherapeutic agents. The mode of action appears to be nuclease activity resulting in the induction of apoptosis. The research itself was the result of observing unexpected interactions between the vibriocins and eukaryotic cells.[10]


  1. ^ Farkas-Himsley H, Seyfried PL (1962). "Lethal biosynthesis of a new antibacterial principle: vibriocin". Nature. 193 (4821): 1193–4. doi:10.1038/1931193a0. PMID 13891648. 
  2. ^ Jayawardene A, Farkas-Himsley H (1968). "Particulate nature of vibriocin: a bacteriocin from Vibrio comma". Nature. 219 (5149): 79–80. doi:10.1038/219079a0. PMID 5659626. 
  3. ^ Datta A, Prescott LM (1969). "Effect of Vibriocins on Members of the Enterobacteriaceae". Journal of Bacteriology. 98 (2): 849–850. PMC 284902Freely accessible. PMID 4891272. 
  4. ^ Israil AM, Nacescu N, Ciufecu C, Stefanescu C (1983). "Studies on bacteriocin production by NAG-strains of Vibrio cholerae as a possible epidemiological marker". [[Zentralbl Bakteriol Mikrobiol Hyg [A]]]. 255 (2–3): 285–93. PMID 6649979. 
  5. ^ Chakrabarty AN, Adhya S, Basu J, Dastidar SJ (1970). "Bacteriocin Typing of Vibrio cholerae". Infection and Immunity. 1 (3): 293–299. PMC 415895Freely accessible. PMID 16557731. 
  6. ^ Israil AM, Nacescu N, Ciufecu C, Cedru C (1987). "The development and application of a bacteriocinogenotyping scheme for Vibrio cholerae non-group O-1 strains". [[Zentralbl Bakteriol Mikrobiol Hyg [A]]]. 264 (1–2): 235–45. doi:10.1016/s0176-6724(87)80144-x. PMID 3630474. 
  7. ^ Jayawardene A, Farkas-Himsley H (1970). "Mode of Action of Vibriocin". J. Bacteriol. 102 (2): 382–8. PMC 247562Freely accessible. PMID 5419258. 
  8. ^ Krol PM, Farkas-Himsley H (1971). "Mode of Action of Vibriocin: Initial Interaction with Vibrio comma Cells". Infection and Immunity. 3 (1): 184–186. PMC 416127Freely accessible. PMID 16557939. 
  9. ^ Jayawardene A, Farkas-Himsley H (1972). "Production of vibriocin: induction and synthesis". Microbios. 6 (21): 35–46. PMID 4670015. 
  10. ^ Farkas-Himsley H (1980). "Bacteriocins--are they broad-spectrum antibiotics?". J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 6 (4): 424–6. doi:10.1093/jac/6.4.424. PMID 7430010.