Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future

A special issue of Antibiotics (ISSN 2079-6382). This special issue belongs to the section "Antimicrobial Peptides".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 22211

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Interests: plant secondary metabolites; antimicrobial effects of phytochemical components; biochemistry and biotechnology; plant-derived antibiotics; plant responses to stresses phytoremediation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are natural molecules belonging to diverse peptide and protein families essential for the innate immune system and as a barrier defense for all live organisms. AMPs have been grouped into various families based on the 3D structures, chemical–physical properties (hydrophobicity, net charge, covalent bonding patterns), and molecular targets.

They are a promising class of antimicrobial compounds capable of acting against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They can act synergistically with other drugs, reducing the immunomodulatory side activities and deactivating toxic compounds such as LPS. Other AMP applications in the medical field include their use in dentistry against the development of dental caries, to decrease the surgical infection that occurs after surgery, accidental injury, burns, chronic wound infections, skin disease, and ophthalmology. AMPs also have potential in agribusiness: they act against pathogenic bacteria as innate immune factors, improve plant resistance to diseases, pests, and stress, and improve plants’ development and growth. Finally, AMPs are an alternative to synthetic preservatives used by the food industries since they have an excellent inhibitory effect on common bacteria and fungi, which can be found in food, and many AMPs are resistant to high temperatures, acids, and alkalis, and in the human body are readily hydrolyzed by proteases. 

This Special Issue collects research articles and review papers dealing with the possible uses of antimicrobial peptides in medical, food, and agricultural applications. In particular, the following topics are of interest: ·       

  • Isolation, characterization, and dosage of antimicrobial peptides in plants;·       
  • The dietary effect of AMPs;·       
  • AMPs in food technology;·       
  • Antibacterial peptides for food preservation and their application in food packaging;·       
  • Medical and veterinary application of AMPs;·       
  • Toxicological aspects related to the employ of AMPs.

Prof. Dr. Margherita-Gabriella DE BIASI
Prof. Dr. Irene DINI
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • antimicrobial peptides
  • food additive
  • protective ingredient
  • foodborne pathogen
  • spoilage microorganisms
  • microbial resistance
  • infectious diseases
  • anticancer agent
  • medical devices
  • cosmetic ingredients

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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25 pages, 1200 KiB  
Article
Antimicrobial Peptides (AMP) in the Cell-Free Culture Media of Xenorhabdus budapestensis and X. szentirmaii Exert Anti-Protist Activity against Eukaryotic Vertebrate Pathogens including Histomonas meleagridis and Leishmania donovani Species
by András Fodor, Claudia Hess, Petra Ganas, Zsófia Boros, János Kiss, László Makrai, Károly Dublecz, László Pál, László Fodor, Anna Sebestyén, Michael G. Klein, Eustachio Tarasco, Manjusha M. Kulkarni, Bradford S. McGwire, Tibor Vellai and Michael Hess
Antibiotics 2023, 12(9), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12091462 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1504
Abstract
Anti-microbial peptides provide a powerful toolkit for combating multidrug resistance. Combating eukaryotic pathogens is complicated because the intracellular drug targets in the eukaryotic pathogen are frequently homologs of cellular structures of vital importance in the host organism. The entomopathogenic bacteria (EPB), symbionts of [...] Read more.
Anti-microbial peptides provide a powerful toolkit for combating multidrug resistance. Combating eukaryotic pathogens is complicated because the intracellular drug targets in the eukaryotic pathogen are frequently homologs of cellular structures of vital importance in the host organism. The entomopathogenic bacteria (EPB), symbionts of entomopathogenic–nematode species, release a series of non-ribosomal templated anti-microbial peptides. Some may be potential drug candidates. The ability of an entomopathogenic–nematode/entomopathogenic bacterium symbiotic complex to survive in a given polyxenic milieu is a coevolutionary product. This explains that those gene complexes that are responsible for the biosynthesis of different non-ribosomal templated anti-microbial protective peptides (including those that are potently capable of inactivating the protist mammalian pathogen Leishmania donovanii and the gallinaceous bird pathogen Histomonas meleagridis) are co-regulated. Our approach is based on comparative anti-microbial bioassays of the culture media of the wild-type and regulatory mutant strains. We concluded that Xenorhabdus budapestensis and X. szentirmaii are excellent sources of non-ribosomal templated anti-microbial peptides that are efficient antagonists of the mentioned pathogens. Data on selective cytotoxicity of different cell-free culture media encourage us to forecast that the recently discovered “easy-PACId” research strategy is suitable for constructing entomopathogenic-bacterium (EPB) strains producing and releasing single, harmless, non-ribosomal templated anti-microbial peptides with considerable drug, (probiotic)-candidate potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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15 pages, 881 KiB  
Article
Heteroresistance to Colistin in Clinical Isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae Producing OXA-48
by Irene Sánchez-León, Teresa García-Martínez, Seydina M. Diene, Elena Pérez-Nadales, Luis Martínez-Martínez and Jean-Marc Rolain
Antibiotics 2023, 12(7), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12071111 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Heteroresistance to colistin can be defined as the presence of resistant subpopulations in an isolate that is susceptible to this antibiotic. Colistin resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is more frequently related to chromosomal mutations and insertions. This work aimed to study heteroresistance in nine [...] Read more.
Heteroresistance to colistin can be defined as the presence of resistant subpopulations in an isolate that is susceptible to this antibiotic. Colistin resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is more frequently related to chromosomal mutations and insertions. This work aimed to study heteroresistance in nine clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing OXA-48 and to describe genomic changes in mutants with acquired resistance in vitro. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by broth microdilution (BMD) and heteroresistance by population analysis profiling (PAP). The proteins related to colistin resistance were analyzed for the presence of mutations. Additionally, PCR of the mgrB gene was performed to identify the presence of insertions. In the nine parental isolates, the PAP method showed colistin heteroresistance of colonies growing on plates with concentrations of up to 64 mg/L, corresponding to stable mutant subpopulations. The MICs of some mutants from the PAP plate containing 4×MIC of colistin had absolute values of ≤2 mg/L that were higher than the parental MICs and were defined as persistent variants. PCR of the mgrB gene identified an insertion sequence that inactivated the gene in 21 mutants. Other substitutions in the investigated mutants were found in PhoP, PhoQ, PmrB, PmrC, CrrA and CrrB proteins. Colistin heteroresistance in K. pneumoniae isolates was attributed mainly to insertions in the mgrB gene and point mutations in colistin resistance proteins. The results of this study will improve understanding regarding the mechanisms of colistin resistance in mutants of K. pneumoniae producing OXA-48. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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Review

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30 pages, 4340 KiB  
Review
Complementary Activities of Host Defence Peptides and Antibiotics in Combating Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria
by Patrick R. Lennard, Pieter S. Hiemstra and Peter H. Nibbering
Antibiotics 2023, 12(10), 1518; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12101518 - 6 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2295
Abstract
Due to their ability to eliminate antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria and to modulate the immune response, host defence peptides (HDPs) hold great promise for the clinical treatment of bacterial infections. Whereas monotherapy with HDPs is not likely to become an effective first-line treatment, [...] Read more.
Due to their ability to eliminate antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria and to modulate the immune response, host defence peptides (HDPs) hold great promise for the clinical treatment of bacterial infections. Whereas monotherapy with HDPs is not likely to become an effective first-line treatment, combinations of such peptides with antibiotics can potentially provide a path to future therapies for AMR infections. Therefore, we critically reviewed the recent literature regarding the antibacterial activity of combinations of HDPs and antibiotics against AMR bacteria and the approaches taken in these studies. Of the 86 studies compiled, 56 featured a formal assessment of synergy between agents. Of the combinations assessed, synergistic and additive interactions between HDPs and antibiotics amounted to 84.9% of the records, while indifferent and antagonistic interactions accounted for 15.1%. Penicillin, aminoglycoside, fluoro/quinolone, and glycopeptide antibiotic classes were the most frequently documented as interacting with HDPs, and Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecium were the most reported bacterial species. Few studies formally evaluated the effects of combinations of HDPs and antibiotics on bacteria, and even fewer assessed such combinations against bacteria within biofilms, in animal models, or in advanced tissue infection models. Despite the biases of the current literature, the studies suggest that effective combinations of HDPs and antibiotics hold promise for the future treatment of infections caused by AMR bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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23 pages, 6013 KiB  
Review
Scorpion Venom as a Source of Antimicrobial Peptides: Overview of Biomolecule Separation, Analysis and Characterization Methods
by Sara Nasr, Adolfo Borges, Christina Sahyoun, Riad Nasr, Rabih Roufayel, Christian Legros, Jean-Marc Sabatier and Ziad Fajloun
Antibiotics 2023, 12(9), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12091380 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
Scorpion venoms have long captivated scientific researchers, primarily due to the potency and specificity of the mechanism of action of their derived components. Among other molecules, these venoms contain highly active compounds, including antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and ion channel-specific components that selectively target [...] Read more.
Scorpion venoms have long captivated scientific researchers, primarily due to the potency and specificity of the mechanism of action of their derived components. Among other molecules, these venoms contain highly active compounds, including antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and ion channel-specific components that selectively target biological receptors with remarkable affinity. Some of these receptors have emerged as prime therapeutic targets for addressing various human pathologies, including cancer and infectious diseases, and have served as models for designing novel drugs. Consequently, extensive biochemical and proteomic investigations have focused on characterizing scorpion venoms. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the key methodologies used in the extraction, purification, analysis, and characterization of AMPs and other bioactive molecules present in scorpion venoms. Noteworthy techniques such as gel electrophoresis, reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, size exclusion chromatography, and “omics” approaches are explored, along with various combinations of methods that enable bioassay-guided venom fractionation. Furthermore, this review presents four adapted proteomic workflows that lead to the comprehensive dissection of the scorpion venom proteome, with an emphasis on AMPs. These workflows differ based on whether the venom is pre-fractionated using separation techniques or is proteolytically digested directly before further proteomic analyses. Since the composition and functionality of scorpion venoms are species-specific, the selection and sequence of the techniques for venom analyses, including these workflows, should be tailored to the specific parameters of the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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17 pages, 1794 KiB  
Review
Insect Antimicrobial Peptides: Advancements, Enhancements and New Challenges
by Matteo Dho, Valentina Candian and Rosemarie Tedeschi
Antibiotics 2023, 12(6), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12060952 - 24 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3010
Abstract
Several insects are known as vectors of a wide range of animal and human pathogens causing various diseases. However, they are also a source of different substances, such as the Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs), which can be employed in the development of natural bioactive [...] Read more.
Several insects are known as vectors of a wide range of animal and human pathogens causing various diseases. However, they are also a source of different substances, such as the Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs), which can be employed in the development of natural bioactive compounds for medical, veterinary and agricultural applications. It is well known that AMP activity, in contrast to most classical antibiotics, does not lead to the development of natural bacterial resistance, or at least the frequency of resistance is considered to be low. Therefore, there is a strong interest in assessing the efficacy of the various peptides known to date, identifying new compounds and evaluating possible solutions in order to increase their production. Moreover, implementing AMP modulation in insect rearing could preserve insect health in large-scale production. This review describes the current knowledge on insect AMPs, presenting the validated ones for the different insect orders. A brief description of their mechanism of action is reported with focus on proposed applications. The possible effects of insect diet on AMP translation and synthesis have been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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26 pages, 3224 KiB  
Review
Teleost Piscidins—In Silico Perspective of Natural Peptide Antibiotics from Marine Sources
by Patricia Asensio-Calavia, Sergio González-Acosta, Andrea Otazo-Pérez, Manuel R. López, Antonio Morales-delaNuez and José Manuel Pérez de la Lastra
Antibiotics 2023, 12(5), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12050855 - 5 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2725
Abstract
Fish, like all other animals, are exposed to constant contact with microbes, both on their skin and on the surfaces of their respiratory and digestive systems. Fish have a system of non-specific immune responses that provides them with initial protection against infection and [...] Read more.
Fish, like all other animals, are exposed to constant contact with microbes, both on their skin and on the surfaces of their respiratory and digestive systems. Fish have a system of non-specific immune responses that provides them with initial protection against infection and allows them to survive under normal conditions despite the presence of these potential invaders. However, fish are less protected against invading diseases than other marine vertebrates because their epidermal surface, composed primarily of living cells, lacks the keratinized skin that serves as an efficient natural barrier in other marine vertebrates. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are one type of innate immune protection present in all life forms. AMPs have been shown to have a broader range of biological effects than conventional antibiotics, including antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal, and antifungal effects. Although other AMPs, such as defensins and hepcidins, are found in all vertebrates and are relatively well conserved, piscidins are found exclusively in Teleost fish and are not found in any other animal. Therefore, there is less information on the expression and bioactivity of piscidins than on other AMPs. Piscidins are highly effective against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that cause disease in fish and humans and have the potential to be used as pharmacological anti-infectives in biomedicine and aquaculture. To better understand the potential benefits and limitations of using these peptides as therapeutic agents, we are conducting a comprehensive study of the Teleost piscidins included in the “reviewed” category of the UniProt database using bioinformatics tools. They all have amphipathic alpha-helical structures. The amphipathic architecture of piscidin peptides and positively charged residues influence their antibacterial activity. These alpha-helices are intriguing antimicrobial drugs due to their stability in high-salt and metal environments. New treatments for multidrug-resistant bacteria, cancer, and inflammation may be inspired by piscidin peptides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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22 pages, 1374 KiB  
Review
An Overview of the Potentialities of Antimicrobial Peptides Derived from Natural Sources
by Irene Dini, Margherita-Gabriella De Biasi and Andrea Mancusi
Antibiotics 2022, 11(11), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics11111483 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 7259
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are constituents of the innate immune system in every kind of living organism. They can act by disrupting the microbial membrane or without affecting membrane stability. Interest in these small peptides stems from the fear of antibiotics and the emergence [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are constituents of the innate immune system in every kind of living organism. They can act by disrupting the microbial membrane or without affecting membrane stability. Interest in these small peptides stems from the fear of antibiotics and the emergence of microorganisms resistant to antibiotics. Through membrane or metabolic disruption, they defend an organism against invading bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. High efficacy and specificity, low drug interaction and toxicity, thermostability, solubility in water, and biological diversity suggest their applications in food, medicine, agriculture, animal husbandry, and aquaculture. Nanocarriers can be used to protect, deliver, and improve their bioavailability effectiveness. High cost of production could limit their use. This review summarizes the natural sources, structures, modes of action, and applications of microbial peptides in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Any restrictions on AMPs’ large-scale production are also taken into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides for an Exciting Future)
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