The value of antimicrobial peptides in the age of resistance

Maria Magana, Muthuirulan Pushpanathan, Ana L. Santos, Leon Leanse, Michael Fernandez, Anastasios Ioannidis, Marc A. Giulianotti, Yiorgos Apidianakis, Steven Bradfute, Andrew L. Ferguson, Artem Cherkasov, Mohamed N. Seleem, Clemencia Pinilla, Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez, Themis Lazaridis, Tianhong Dai, Richard A. Houghten, Robert E.W. Hancock, George P. Tegos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

613 Scopus citations


Accelerating growth and global expansion of antimicrobial resistance has deepened the need for discovery of novel antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial peptides have clear advantages over conventional antibiotics which include slower emergence of resistance, broad-spectrum antibiofilm activity, and the ability to favourably modulate the host immune response. Broad bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial peptides offers an additional tool to expand knowledge about the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. Structural and functional limitations, combined with a stricter regulatory environment, have hampered the clinical translation of antimicrobial peptides as potential therapeutic agents. Existing computational and experimental tools attempt to ease the preclinical and clinical development of antimicrobial peptides as novel therapeutics. This Review identifies the benefits, challenges, and opportunities of using antimicrobial peptides against multidrug-resistant pathogens, highlights advances in the deployment of novel promising antimicrobial peptides, and underlines the needs and priorities in designing focused development strategies taking into account the most advanced tools available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e216-e230
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


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