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Action of Antimicrobial Peptides against Bacterial Biofilms

School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2468;
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 1 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biofilms in Healthcare: Formation, Prevention and Treatment)
Microbes are known to colonize surfaces and form biofilms. These biofilms are communities of microbes encased in a self-produced matrix that often contains polysaccharides, DNA and proteins. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been used to control the formation and to eradicate mature biofilms. Naturally occurring or synthetic antimicrobial peptides have been shown to prevent microbial colonization of surfaces, to kill bacteria in biofilms and to disrupt the biofilm structure. This review systemically analyzed published data since 1970 to summarize the possible anti-biofilm mechanisms of AMPs. One hundred and sixty-two published reports were initially selected for this review following searches using the criteria ‘antimicrobial peptide’ OR ‘peptide’ AND ‘mechanism of action’ AND ‘biofilm’ OR ‘antibiofilm’ in the databases PubMed; Scopus; Web of Science; MEDLINE; and Cochrane Library. Studies that investigated anti-biofilm activities without describing the possible mechanisms were removed from the analysis. A total of 17 original reports were included which have articulated the mechanism of antimicrobial action of AMPs against biofilms. The major anti-biofilm mechanisms of antimicrobial peptides are: (1) disruption or degradation of the membrane potential of biofilm embedded cells; (2) interruption of bacterial cell signaling systems; (3) degradation of the polysaccharide and biofilm matrix; (4) inhibition of the alarmone system to avoid the bacterial stringent response; (5) downregulation of genes responsible for biofilm formation and transportation of binding proteins. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofilm; antimicrobial peptides; mechanism of action; medical devices; biomaterials biofilm; antimicrobial peptides; mechanism of action; medical devices; biomaterials
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yasir, M.; Willcox, M.D.P.; Dutta, D. Action of Antimicrobial Peptides against Bacterial Biofilms. Materials 2018, 11, 2468.

AMA Style

Yasir M, Willcox MDP, Dutta D. Action of Antimicrobial Peptides against Bacterial Biofilms. Materials. 2018; 11(12):2468.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yasir, Muhammad, Mark Duncan Perry Willcox, and Debarun Dutta. 2018. "Action of Antimicrobial Peptides against Bacterial Biofilms" Materials 11, no. 12: 2468.

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