UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Host Defense Peptides: Dual Antimicrobial and Immunomodulatory Action Drayton, Matthew; Deisinger, Julia P.; Ludwig, Kevin C.; Raheem, Nigare; Müller, Anna; Schneider, Tanja; Straus, Suzana


The rapid rise of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria has once again caused bacterial infections to become a global health concern. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), also known as host defense peptides (HDPs), offer a viable solution to these pathogens due to their diverse mechanisms of actions, which include direct killing as well as immunomodulatory properties (e.g., anti-inflammatory activity). HDPs may hence provide a more robust treatment of bacterial infections. In this review, the advent of and the mechanisms that lead to antibiotic resistance will be described. HDP mechanisms of antibacterial and immunomodulatory action will be presented, with specific examples of how the HDP aurein 2.2 and a few of its derivatives, namely peptide 73 and cG4L73, function. Finally, resistance that may arise from a broader use of HDPs in a clinical setting and methods to improve biocompatibility will be briefly discussed.

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