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Antimicrobial Peptides and their Multiple Effects at Sub-Inhibitory Concentrations

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 14 ]

Author(s):

Bruno Casciaro*, Floriana Cappiello, Walter Verrusio, Mauro Cacciafesta and Maria Luisa Mangoni*   Pages 1264 - 1273 ( 10 )

Abstract:


The frequent occurrence of multidrug-resistant strains to conventional antimicrobials has led to a clear decline in antibiotic therapies. Therefore, new molecules with different mechanisms of action are extremely necessary. Due to their unique properties, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) represent a valid alternative to conventional antibiotics and many of them have been characterized for their activity and cytotoxicity. However, the effects that these peptides cause at concentrations below the minimum growth inhibitory concentration (MIC) have yet to be fully analyzed along with the underlying molecular mechanism. In this mini-review, the ability of AMPs to synergize with different antibiotic classes or different natural compounds is examined. Furthermore, data on microbial resistance induction are reported to highlight the importance of antibiotic resistance in the fight against infections. Finally, the effects that sub-MIC levels of AMPs can have on the bacterial pathogenicity are summarized while showing how signaling pathways can be valid therapeutic targets for the treatment of infectious diseases. All these aspects support the high potential of AMPs as lead compounds for the development of new drugs with antibacterial and immunomodulatory activities.

Keywords:

Antimicrobial peptides, Antibiotic resistance, Synergism, Induction of resistance, Pathogenicity, Quorum sensing.

Affiliation:

Center For Life Nano Science@Sapienza, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Rome 00161, Laboratory affiliated to Pasteur Italia-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Department of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, Rome 00185, Division of Gerontology, Department of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrological, Anesthesiological and Geriatric Sciences,Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Division of Gerontology, Department of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrological, Anesthesiological and Geriatric Sciences,Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Laboratory affiliated to Pasteur Italia-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Department of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, Rome 00185



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