Insights into Bdellovibrio spp. mechanisms of action and potential applications

Monique Waso, Brandon Reyneke, Benjamin Havenga, Sehaam Khan, Wesaal Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies investigating Bdellovibrio spp. have found that although this predator predominantly preys on Gram-negative organisms, under certain conditions (nutrient/prey limitation), it will adapt to survive and grow axenically (without prey) or in the presence of Gram-positive bacterial prey. These advances in the understanding of predatory bacteria have stimulated a renewed interest in these organisms and the potential applications of Bdellovibrio spp. to the benefit of society. Early studies primarily focused on the application of predatory bacteria as “live antibiotics” in the medical field, probiotics in aquaculture and veterinary medicine and their use in agriculture. Additionally, studies have investigated their prevalence in wastewater and environmental sources. However, comprehending that Bdellovibrio spp. may also prey on and target Gram-positive organisms, implies that these predators could specifically be applied for the bioremediation or removal of mixed bacterial communities. Recent studies have also indicated that Bdellovibrio spp. may be useful in controlling food spoilage organisms and subsequently decrease our reliance on food additives. This review will thus highlight recent developments in understanding Bdellovibrio spp. predation strategies and focus on potential new applications of these organisms for water treatment, food preservation, enhancement of industrial processes, and in combination therapies with bacteriophages and/or antibiotics to combat multi-drug resistant organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Bdellovibrio applications
  • Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus
  • Biocontrol
  • Predation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Physiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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