Bacteriocins are potent protein toxins produced by virtually every bacterial and archeal

species examined to date, including great number of Gram bacteria and Gram bacteria. These toxins
peptides play an important role in regulating competitive interactions in natural microbial
systems. Bacteriocins are a kind of ribosomal synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by
bacteria, which can kill or inhibit bacterial strains closely-related or non-related to produced
bacteria, but will not harm the bacteria themselves by specific immunity proteins.
Bacteriocins become one of the weapons against microorganisms due to the specific
characteristics of large diversity of structure and function, natural resource, and being stable
to heat. They are similar to yeast and paramecium killing factors, and are structurally,
functionally, and ecologically diverse. Applications of bacteriocins are being tested to assess
their application as narrow-spectrum antibiotics.

From the perspective of human health, the bacteriocins represent a library of potential lead
compounds honed over three billion years of evolution. Their narrow target range, high
activity, surprising stability and low toxicity position them as viable alternatives or
complements to existing small molecule antibiotics. The rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens
and the growing awareness of the importance of the microbiome to human health underscore
the need for this new class of antimicrobials, emblematic of a new approach to the treatment
of infectious disease. Bacteriocins also has the potential to be used in food preservation since
it can inhibit pathogenic bacterial growth but still safe enough to enter human digestive tract
and digested by gastric. Thus, many studies have been conducted to exploit great bacteriocins
roles.

The history of bacteriocins goes back to the early 1920s. One has experienced many
disappointments in the efforts how to put these compounds into practical use despite being
one of the most promising groups of antimicrobial agents to fight bacterial pathogens. More
specifically, it was first discovered by André Gratia in 1925. He was involved in the process
of searching for ways to kill bacteria, which also resulted in the development of antibiotics
and the discovery of bacteriophage, all within a span of a few years. He called his first
discovery a colicine because it killed E. coli. However, today, we see new possibilities how to
take advantage of such peptides for the benefit of man and animals. Bacteriocin production
has become an important property of probiotic bacteria, and targeted use of bacteriocins to
fight certain pathogens may have a future.

The antibiotics are secondary metabolites with broad spectrum of anti-microbial activity.
While the bacteriocins (antimicrobial peptides) are synthesized on ribosomes by translation
process as they are polymer of amino acids and have a narrow spectrum of anti-microbial
activity mainly against closely related species.