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Current Opinion in Microbiology
Volume 45, 2018, Pages: 84-91

Healthy scents: microbial volatiles as new frontier in antibiotic research?

Mariana Avalos, Gilles Pvan Wezel, Jos M Raaijmakers, Paolina Garbeva

Institute of Biology, Leiden University, Sylviusweg 72, 2333 BE Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Microorganisms represent a large and still resourceful pool for the discovery of novel compounds to combat antibiotic resistance in human and animal pathogens. The ability of microorganisms to produce structurally diverse volatile compounds has been known for decades, yet their biological functions and antimicrobial activities have only recently attracted attention. Various studies revealed that microbial volatiles can act as infochemicals in long-distance cross-kingdom communication as well as antimicrobials in competition and predation. Here, we review recent insights into the natural functions and modes of action of microbial volatiles and discuss their potential as a new class of antimicrobials and modulators of antibiotic resistance.

 
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