Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus: a potential 'living antibiotic' to control bacterial pathogens

Francis M. Cavallo, Lorea Jordana, Alexander W. Friedrich, Corinna Glasner, Jan Maarten van Dijl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
162 Downloads (Pure)


Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a small Deltaproteobacterium which, since its discovery, has distinguished itself for the unique ability to prey on other Gram-negative bacteria. The studies on this particular "predatory bacterium", have gained momentum in response to the rising problem of antibiotic resistance, because it could be applied as a potential probiotic and antibiotic agent. Hereby, we present recent advances in the study of B. bacteriovorus, comprehending fundamental aspects of its biology, obligatory intracellular life cycle, predation resistance, and potential applications. Furthermore, we discuss studies that pave the road towards the use of B. bacteriovorus as a "living antibiotic" in human therapy, focussing on its interaction with biofilms, the host immune response, predation susceptibility and in vivo application models. The available data imply that it will be possible to upgrade this predator bacterium from a predominantly academic interest to an instrument that could confront antibiotic resistant infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-646
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
Early online date23-Apr-2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus
  • BALOs
  • antibiotic resistance
  • predatory bacteria
  • &#8220
  • living antibiotic&#8221

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