Patho-biotechnology involves the use of pathogens or pathogen derived factors for the benefit of humans in the field like medicine, food and also in biotechnology.

In this era of medicine, only few antibiotics are in the pipeline and bacteria are resistant to most of the existing antibiotics researchers and scientists are looking for some alternative solution like patho-biotechnology.

Limitations of Probiotics:

Probiotic bacteria show some form of antimicrobial effect against the pathogens. Exact mechanism by which probiotics fight against pathogens is not fully known. Probiotics exclude pathogens from host by competing for nutrients, and some probiotics also produce chemical substances against pathogens.

But probiotics have some limitations such as
• Are not able to survive for long duration in delivery foods such as yogurt or tablet form.
• After ingestion of probiotics have to face host defence mechanism like acidic condition of gastric juice, body temperature and many more.

Patho-Biotechnology Approach:

Patho-biotechnology help in producing improved strains of probiotics using stress survival techniques. For example cloning of bile resistant gene from pathogen Listeria monocytogenes into probiotic bifidobacterium breve improved probiotic colonization in gastrointestine and also showed improved efficacy.

Now new class of probiotics are produced in such a way that they block the ligand-receptor which help in host pathogen interaction in causing enteric infection.

Designer probiotics are designed using genetic engineering in such a way that they mimic the oligosaccharide receptors of the host cell. These receptors are used by pathogens to enter the host cell. When these designer probiotics are orally administered they neutralize toxin and interfere with gut pathogens and finally they wipe out the infection from the gut region.

The technique used in neutralization of toxin uses mimicking of the host receptor finally inhibiting pathogen reproduction and survival. This kind of technique unlike antibiotics will not induce mutation inducing resistance in pathogens. Therefore this technology can be used in treating infection by enteric bacteria.

Designer probiotics are also designed for treating AIDS. These probiotics mimic the host receptors which are essential for the HIV infection, thus these probiotics inhibit the HIV attachment and infection.

Designer Probiotics as Drug Delivery System:

Using genetic engineering techniques probiotics are designed to do the functions such as drug delivery systems they are used as vaccine delivery system.

Like attenuated pathogen vaccine these designer probiotics also stimulate both immunity such as innate and acquired, but are not able to induce the toxicity in the host. Probiotics administered orally or as nasal spray induce the same kind of immune response elicited by the real pathogenic infection.

Probiotic vaccine delivery system induces less pain and also reduces the contamination associated with the injection mode of vaccine delivery. Probiotic vaccine delivery system can also be produced economically.

Administration of these probiotic vaccine delivery system do not require trained personnel as traditional vaccines, so this can be used as preferred mode of vaccine delivery system in developing countries and also can be stored in dry form in appropriate temperature for years.

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