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Keywords:

  • lactic acid bacteria;
  • mucosal vaccines;
  • Lactococcus ;
  • Lactobacillus ;
  • cytokines;
  • therapeutic molecules

Abstract

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) represent a heterogeneous group of microorganisms naturally present in many foods and those have proved to be effective mucosal delivery vectors. Moreover, some specific strains of LAB exert beneficial properties (known as probiotic effect) on both human and animal health. Although probiotic effects are strain-specific traits, it is theoretically possible, using genetic engineering techniques, to design strains that can exert a variety of beneficial properties. During the two past decades, a large variety of therapeutic molecules has been successfully expressed in LAB, and although this field has been largely reviewed in recent years, approximately 20 new publications appear each year. Thus, the aim of this minireview is not to extensively assess the entire literature but to update progress made within the last 2 years regarding the use of the model LAB Lactococcus lactis and certain species of lactobacilli as live recombinant vectors for the development of new safe mucosal vaccines.