Caister Academic Press

Bacterial Resistance to Antimicrobial Peptides

John D. F. Hale
from: Bacterial Pathogenesis: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms (Edited by: Camille Locht and Michel Simonet). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)


Host defence peptides (HDP) are small cationic, amphipathic molecules produced by all organisms as a first line of defence against microbial invasion and are commonly found at host-microbe interfaces, such as epithelial layers. Although initially identified to control microbial levels through direct antimicrobial activity, their role has been expanded to include the multitude of other functions including modulation of innate defence factors. While HDPs are active against a range of microbes, the best understood resistance mechanisms are in bacteria. Many pathogenic bacteria have evolved resistance mechanisms to ensure their own survival and an increased virulence following continual exposure to HDPs. Although individual species can affect resistance differently, they still fall under certain themes, such as repulsion, degradation, sequestration and expulsion, all of which are based the exploitation of the common features of HDPs, such as charge or their peptide nature. Despite this diverse range of resistance mechanisms, bacteria have yet to achieve full resistance to the large repertoire of HDPs read more ...
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