A bacteriocin producer strain MC13 was isolated from the gut of Mugil cephalus (grey mullet) and identified as Enterococcus faecium. The bacteriocin of E. faecium MC13 was purified to homogeneity, as confirmed by Tricine sodium dodecyl sulphate - polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed a single active fraction eluted at 26 min, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry analysis showed the molecular mass to be 2.148 kDa. The clear zone in native PAGE corresponding to enterocin MC13 band further substantiated its molecular mass. A dialyzed sample (semicrude preparation) of enterocin MC13 was broad spectrum in its action and inhibited important seafood-borne pathogens: Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus. This antibacterial substance was sensitive to proteolytic enzymes: trypsin, protease, and chymotrypsin but insensitive to catalase and lipase, confirming that inhibition was due to the proteinaceous molecule, i.e., bacteriocin, and not due to hydrogen peroxide. Enterocin MC13 tolerated heat treatment (up to 90 °C for 20 min). Enterococcus faecium MC13 was effective in bile salt tolerance, acid tolerance, and adhesion to the HT- 29 cell line. These properties reveal the potential of E. faecium MC13 to be a probiotic bacterium. Enterococcus faecium MC13 could be used as potential fish probiotic against pathogens such as V. parahaemolyticus, Vibrio harveyi, and Aeromonas hydrophila in fisheries. Also, this could be a valuable seafood biopreservative against L. monocytogenes.
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