The Role of Antimicrobial Peptides as Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Agents in Tackling the Silent Pandemic of Antimicrobial Resistance

Bruno S. Lopes, Alfizah Hanafiah, Ramesh Nachimuthu, Saravanan Muthupandian, Zarith Nameyrra Md Nesran, Sandip Patil

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Abstract

Just over a million people died globally in 2019 due to antibiotic resistance caused by ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species). The World Health Organization (WHO) also lists antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter and Helicobacter as bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. As it is becoming increasingly difficult to discover new antibiotics, new alternatives are needed to solve the crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Bacteria commonly found in complex communities enclosed within self-produced matrices called biofilms are difficult to eradicate and develop increased stress and antimicrobial tolerance. This review summarises the role of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in combating the silent pandemic of AMR and their application in clinical medicine, focusing on both the advantages and disadvantages of AMPs as antibiofilm agents. It is known that many AMPs display broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities, but in a variety of organisms AMPs are not stable (short half-life) or have some toxic side effects. Hence, it is also important to develop new AMP analogues for their potential use as drug candidates. The use of one health approach along with developing novel therapies using phages and breakthroughs in novel antimicrobial peptide synthesis can help us in tackling the problem of AMR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2995
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia, grant no. FRGS/1/2019/SKK11/UKM/02/3.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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