Antimicrobial Peptides – Promising Alternatives to Conventional AntibioticsBaltzer S.A. · Brown M.H.
School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, S.A., Australia
School of Biological Sciences
Flinders University, GPO 2100
Adelaide, SA 5001 (Australia)
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Antimicrobial peptides (APs) have been described as evolutionary ancient weapons. Produced by a wide variety of organisms as part of a non-specific immune response, these peptides are involved in the direct destruction of various microorganisms. Several APs have been shown to have broad activity spectra against microorganisms such as Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, enveloped viruses, fungi and parasites. Given that resistance to a number of antibiotics has developed in a wide range of microbes, the potential of APs as novel therapeutic agents is being evaluated. However, optimisation of APs designed for therapy will need to focus on such factors as their susceptibility to proteolytic degradation and reduction of toxicity to mammalian cells. Strict guidelines pertaining to their use should also be established to prevent or hinder future development of bacterial resistance to such peptides.
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