Research ArticleANTIMICROBIALS

The antimicrobial peptide SAAP-148 combats drug-resistant bacteria and biofilms

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Science Translational Medicine  10 Jan 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 423, eaan4044
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan4044

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New way to keep bacteria at bay

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. To develop a new type of weapon in the arms race against bacteria, de Breij et al. generated a panel of synthetic peptides based on the human antimicrobial peptide LL-37. The lead candidate from this panel, SAAP-148, can kill dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens in many contexts, including on ex vivo human skin and in biofilms. Long-term exposure to SAAP-148 did not induce bacterial resistance. Topical application of SAAP-148 could one day be used in hospitals to help patients combat bacteria resistant to traditional antibiotics.