Do it like the immune system: novel antimicrobials

Do it like the immune system: novel antimicrobials
© Thinkstock

Microbial infections are becoming unbeatable due to progressive mutations that lead to antimicrobial drug resistance. European scientists exploited the characteristics of novel antimicrobial compounds that mimic the dual activities of natural antimicrobial proteins.

The fight against contagious diseases is seriously threatened by the growing development of antimicrobial-. There is a profound need for novel and diverse antimicrobial prevention and .

Towards this direction, three pathways can be followed for the design of efficient drugs. The first is to target evolutionary conserved regions of the protein targets that have lower possibilities for change and therefore develop . The second is the creation of drugs of multiple activities and targets leading to enhanced antimicrobial action and low resistance development. Finally, the third pathway involves drug cocktails of many active compounds of diverse activities and specificities.

The EU project 'Antimicrobials by immune stimulation' (AMIS) aimed at the design and evaluation of novel antimicrobial drugs that mimic features of human antimicrobial proteins. AMIS scientists combined all three aforementioned approaches in an integrative and innovative manner using the human innate system as a model for new antimicrobial compounds. Since in the comprise different signals in a single molecule, AMIS researchers made novel antimicrobial molecules of combined features.

Initially, AMIS scientists collected and studied the properties of a plethora of promising natural antimicrobial molecules which have been identified in recent years. Taking the information from these studies, they designed antimicrobial proteins with dual activity. These proteins are able, on the one hand, to target extracellular or and, on the other, to weaken inflammation.

Within AMIS, important tools for the evaluation of antimicrobial proteins were optimised and validated. In addition, a variety of new compounds with either antimicrobial or anti-inflammatory activity were discovered.

Importantly, AIMS researchers managed to decipher the exact molecular mechanism of action in some of these compounds, essential for the design of effective drugs. Moreover, the most promising compounds were selected for the creation of fused compounds with even better characteristics. The first fused compound was created and is currently under evaluation.

The AMIS project did not result in a specific therapeutic strategy but it highlighted current limitations in the development of antimicrobial proteins against antimicrobial resistance. The reason for these limitations is not strictly technical but rather a lack of fundamental knowledge in the field of microbial pathogenesis and innate immune system.

More information: Information Source: Result from the EU funded FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH programme

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Two-phase microbial resistance: the example of insects

Nov 26, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- In less than an hour, the immune system of the beetle Tenebrio molitor neutralizes most of the bacteria infecting its hemolymph (the equivalent to blood in vertebrates); this is rendered possible ...

Recommended for you

Determine patient preferences by means of conjoint analysis

3 hours ago

The Conjoint Analysis (CA) method is in principle suitable to find out which preferences patients have regarding treatment goals. However, to widely use it in health economic evaluations, some (primarily methodological) issues ...

FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new formulation of a powerful narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Race affects opioid selection for cancer pain

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Racial disparities exist in the type of opioid prescribed for cancer pain, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

FDA approves tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe ...

Tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone approved

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe pain when other ...

User comments