UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Towards Robust Delivery of Antimicrobial Peptides to Combat Bacterial Resistance Drayton, Matthew; Kizhakkedathu, Jayachandran N.; Straus, Suzana K.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), otherwise known as host defence peptides (HDPs), are naturally occurring biomolecules expressed by a large array of species across the phylogenetic kingdoms. They have great potential to combat microbial infections by directly killing or inhibiting bacterial activity and/or by modulating the immune response of the host. Due to their multimodal properties, broad spectrum activity, and minimal resistance generation, these peptides have emerged as a promising response to the rapidly concerning problem of multidrug resistance (MDR). However, their therapeutic efficacy is limited by a number of factors, including rapid degradation, systemic toxicity, and low bioavailability. As such, many strategies have been developed to mitigate these limitations, such as peptide modification and delivery vehicle conjugation/encapsulation. Oftentimes, however, particularly in the case of the latter, this can hinder the activity of the parent AMP. Here, we review current delivery strategies used for AMP formulation, focusing on methodologies utilized for targeted infection site release of AMPs. This specificity unites the improved biocompatibility of the delivery vehicle with the unhindered activity of the free AMP, providing a promising means to effectively translate AMP therapy into clinical practice.

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