The purification and characterization of a bacteriocin produced by Leuconostoc mesenteroides strain 406 that was isolated from traditional Mongolian fermented mare's milk, airag, were carried out. Leuconostoc mesenteroides strain 406 was identified on the basis of its morphological and biochemical characteristics and carbohydrate fermentation profile and by API 50 CH kit and 16S ribosomal DNA analyses. The neutral-pH cell-free supernatant of this bacterium inhibited the growth of several lactic acid bacteria and food spoilage and pathogenic organisms, including Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum. The bacteriocin was heat-stable and not sensitive to acid and alkaline conditions, but was sensitive to several proteolytic enzymes such as pepsin, pronase E, proteinase K, trypsin, and α-chymotrypsin, but not catalase. Optimum bacteriocin production (4000 activity units/mL) was achieved when the strain was cultured at 25°C for 24-36 h in Man Rogosa Sharpe medium. The bacteriocin was partially purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation (80% saturation), dialysis (cut-off MW: 1000), and gel filtration chromatography. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that the bacteriocin had a molecular weight of approximately 3.3 kDa. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the isolation of a bacteriocin-producing Leuconostoc strain from airag. An application to fermented milks would be desired.