Antimicrobial activity of lysozyme with special relevance to milk

  • N Benkerroum
Keywords: Lysozyme, antimicrobial activity, mechanism of action, resistance, milk.


Lysozyme is a hydrolytic enzyme which has been purified from cells, secretions and tissues of virtually all living organisms and viruses. While this protein has been recognized to possess many physiological
and functional properties, its high microbicidal activity remains, by far, the main virtue that explains the high attention of scientists and industrial stakeholders for its practical applications in medicine and
food industry. Although the egg-white is the primary source for lysozyme production at industrial scale, other sources such as milk of mammals should not be overlooked, as they may contain lysozyme
molecules with specific properties not present in the conventional egg-white lysozyme. This review discusses the antimicrobial activity of lysozyme with special emphasis on milk’s lysozyme, and attempts to shed some light on the recent advances elucidating the mechanism of its antimicrobial activity against sensitive microorganisms as well as the means used by some bacteria to resist such an activity.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315