These peptides are excellent candidates for development as novel therapeutic agents and complements to conventional antibiotic therapy because they generally have a broad range of activity, are bacteriocidal as opposed to bacteriostatic and require a short contact time to induce killing. A number of naturally occurring peptides and their derivatives have been developed as novel anti-infective therapies for conditions as diverse as oral mucositis, lung infections associated with cystic fibrosis (CF), cancer, and topical skin infections. Pexiganan has been shown to be useful to treat infection related diabetic foot ulcer. A major limitation to the therapeutic potential is the possibility of bacteria developing resistance to the peptides, and particularly if that produces a resistance to the body's own immune system use of those peptides. That is, providing a lot of the peptides as a therapeutic agent makes it easier for resistance to evolve; unlike antibiotic resistance, however, resistance to antimicrobial peptides mimicking those produced by humans can make the bacteria more resistant to the body's own immune system rather than just the antibiotic.
Read more about this topic: Antimicrobial Peptides
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