Bacteria producing antimicrobial activity were identified among 86 isolates from aquatic environments of Brazilian Amazon Basin. Antimicrobial activity against at least one indicator strain was detected for 59 isolates (68.6%). Inhibitory activity was mostly against Gram-positive bacteria, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Bacillus cereus. The antimicrobial substances produced by 19 strains that showed higher inhibitory activity were partially characterized. These antimicrobial substances showed thermal resistance for up to 100°C and partial resistance to proteolytic treatment. Some antimicrobials were partially resistant to pronase E at 2 mg ml-1 or to treatment with trichloroacetic acid. Detection of antimicrobial activity on polyacrylamide gels revealed that the molecular weight of the compounds was lower than 14 kDa. Several strains showed antibacterial activity, which in some cases appear to be related to antimicrobial peptides. The potential of these microorganisms to produce useful antimicrobial compounds is great and must be better explored.
antimicrobial activity; Listeria monocytogenes; bacteriocins; Amazon Basin