In vivo activity and low toxicity of the second-generation antimicrobial peptide DGL13K

Sven Ulrik Gorr, Craig M. Flory, Robert J. Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial peptides have been evaluated as possible alternatives to traditional antibiotics. The translational potential of the antimicrobial peptide DGL13K was tested with focus on peptide toxicity and in vivo activity in two animal models. DGL13K was effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus with minimal bactericidal concentrations similar to the minimal inhibitory concentration. The peptide showed low toxicity to human red blood cells and HEK cells with median lethal dose around 1 mg/ml. The median lethal dose in greater wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) was about 125mg/kg while the peptide caused no skin toxicity in a mouse model. A novel high-throughput luminescence assay was used to test peptide activity in infected G. mellonella, thus reducing vertebrate animal use. DGL13K killed P. aeruginosa in both the G. mellonella model and a mouse burn wound infection model, with bacterial viability 3-10-fold lower than in untreated controls. Future experiments will focus on optimizing peptide delivery, dose and frequency to further improve the antibacterial effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0216669
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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