What is it about?

Antimicrobial peptides may be alternatives to traditional antibiotics. We have developed the antimicrobial peptide DGL13K and tested it against a range of drug-resistant bacteria. All were killed by the new peptide, including extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, multi-drug resistant P. aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii carrying metallo-beta-lactamases. The peptide also killed bacterial biofilms. Importantly, the bacteria did not develop resistance to the new peptide, even after a simulated two week treatment course. This work shows that DGL13K is a promising antimicrobial peptide candidate for further development.

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Why is it important?

Antimicrobial Resistance has been called the "climate change of medicine"- a looming disaster where the signs are already all around us. Unless we find new antibiotics that can overcome existing resistance without causing new resistance, many common medical procedures will no longer be safe for the patient. We may see a day when an infected papercut can become deadly. This work shows that a new antibiotic candidate can overcome bacterial drug-resistance without causing new resistance.

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This page is a summary of: The antimicrobial peptide DGL13K is active against drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria and sub-inhibitory concentrations stimulate bacterial growth without causing resistance, PLoS ONE, August 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273504.
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