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Volume 50, Number 4, August 2017

Antimicrobial peptides as potential anti-biofilm agents against multidrug-resistant bacteria 

Pooi Yin Chung, Ramona Khanum


Corresponding author:

Pooi Yin Chung
Corresponding author. Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Background and purpose: 

Bacterial resistance to commonly used drugs has become a global health problem, causing increased infection cases and mortality rate. One of the main virulence determinants in many bacterial infections is biofilm formation, which significantly increases bacterial resistance to antibiotics and innate host defence. In the search to address the chronic infections caused by biofilms, antimicrobial peptides (AMP) have been considered as potential alternative agents to conventional antibiotics. Although AMPs are commonly considered as the primitive mechanism of immunity and has been extensively studied in insects and non-vertebrate organisms, there is now increasing evidence that AMPs also play a crucial role in human immunity. AMPs have exhibited broad-spectrum activity against many strains of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including drug-resistant strains, and fungi. In addition, AMPs also showed synergy with classical antibiotics, neutralize toxins and are active in animal models. In this review, the important mechanisms of action and potential of AMPs in the eradication of biofilm formation in multidrug-resistant pathogen, with the goal of designing novel antimicrobial therapeutics, are discussed. 


Key words:

Antimicrobial peptide, Biofilms, Multidrug-resistant bacteria