Enterococci—Involvement in Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Potential in Cancer Treatment: A Mini-Review
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Enterococcus spp. are Gram-positive, heterogeneous lactic acid bacteria inhabiting various environments. Several species of Enterococci are considered to be able to stimulate the immune system and play an important role in intestinal homeostasis. Some Enterococci can be used as probiotics. Some strains of E. faecium are components of pharmaceutical products used to treat diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, it has been proved that they are responsible for food contamination, and are sometimes undesirable from the point of view of food technology. Additionally, the virulence and multi-drug resistance of Enterococci potentially pose a risk of an epidemic, especially in hospital environments. Moreover, there are indications of their negative role in colon tumorigenesis; however, some nterococci are proved to support immunotherapy in cancer treatment. In general, it can be concluded that this group of microorganisms, despite its nature, has properties that can be used to support cancer treatment—both aggressive chemotherapy and cutting-edge therapy targeting immune checkpoints (IC.
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