Antimicrobial peptides - promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics

Sylvia Baltzer, Melissa Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    160 Citations (Scopus)


    Antimicrobial peptides (APs) have been described as evolutionary ancient weapons. Produced by a wide variety of organisms as part of a non-specific immune response, these peptides are involved in the direct destruction of various microorganisms. Several APs have been shown to have broad activity spectra against microorganisms such as Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, enveloped viruses, fungi and parasites. Given that resistance to a number of antibiotics has developed in a wide range of microbes, the potential of APs as novel therapeutic agents is being evaluated. However, optimisation of APs designed for therapy will need to focus on such factors as their susceptibility to proteolytic degradation and reduction of toxicity to mammalian cells. Strict guidelines pertaining to their use should also be established to prevent or hinder future development of bacterial resistance to such peptides.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-235
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • Antibiotics
    • Antimicrobial resistance
    • Membrane modification
    • Peptide structure
    • Therapeutic agents


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