Paenibacterin: A Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial

Paenibacterin is a new broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent produced by Paenibacillus thiaminolyticus OSY-SE

The Need

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria mutate or acquire antibiotic resistant genes from another bacterium. Once this change occurs, the bacteria prevent the antibiotic from controlling or killing a bacterial growth (APUA). This results in the growth and proliferation of bacteria with a stronger resistance to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance has become one of the world’s most pressing public health problems and is estimated to cost the U.S. $26 billion annually (Globalization and Health). To continue effective treatment against bacterial strains, new antibiotics and antimicrobials need to be developed.

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. Ahmed Yousef, discovered a lipopeptide antibiotic that is produced by soil bacterium and is active against pathogens with multi-drug resistance. This new compound has been designated Paenibacterin and is potent against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria including: Listeria monocytogenes, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Eserichia coli 0157:H7, and Salmonelle enterica serovar Typhimurium. This technology can be used in livestock feed or medical applications and has the potential to limit the threat that antibiotic resistance has on society.

Commercial Applications

  • Food additives for bio-control and preservation
  • Antibiotic therapies for the treatment of human and animal diseases


  • Natural products from bacteria found in food or environment
  • Soluble in water, stable during storage, and have other desirable pharmaco-physical properties
  • Effective against many pathogens including bacteria that cause foodborne diseases
  • Effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Effective against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria

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