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Antimicrobial Peptides: Multifunctional Drugs for Different Applications

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Author(s): Lars-Ove Brandenburg | Julika Merres | Lea-Jessica Albrecht | Deike Varoga | Thomas Pufe

Journal: Polymers
ISSN 2073-4360

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 539;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: antimicrobial peptide | innate immunity | infection | therapeutics | inflammation

ABSTRACT
Antimicrobial peptides (APs) are an important part of the innate immune system in epithelial and non-epithelial surfaces. So far, many different antimicrobial peptides from various families have been discovered in non-vertebrates and vertebrates. They are characterized by antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral activities against a variety of microorganisms. In addition to their role as endogenous antimicrobials, APs participate in multiple aspects of immunity. They are involved in septic and non-septic inflammation, wound repair, angiogenesis, regulation of the adaptive immune system and in maintaining homeostasis. Due to those characteristics AP could play an important role in many practical applications. Limited therapeutic efficiency of current antimicrobial agents and the emerging resistance of pathogens require alternate antimicrobial drugs. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent literature on functions and mechanisms of APs. It also shows their current practical applications as peptide therapeutics and bioactive polymers and discusses the possibilities of future clinical developments.
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