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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-9

Peptides and proteins with antimicrobial activity


1 Departamento De Ciências Físicas E Biológicas - DCFB, Centro De Ciências Biológicas E Da Saúde - CCBS, Universidade Regional Do Cariri - URCA, Brazil
2 Departamento De Enfermagem - De, Centro De Ciências Biológicas E Da Saúde - CCBS, Universidade Regional Do Cariri - URCA, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Henrique Douglas Melo Coutinho
Departamento De Ciências Físicas E Biológicas - DCFB, Centro De Ciências Biológicas E Da Saúde - CCBS, Universidade Regional Do Cariri - URCA
Brazil
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DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.40481

PMID: 21264153

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The increase of microbial resistance to antibiotics has led to a continuing search for newer and more effective drugs. Antimicrobial peptides are generally found in animals, plants, and microorganisms and are of great interest to medicine, pharmacology, and the food industry. These peptides are capable of inhibiting pathogenic microorganisms. They can attack parasites, while causing little or no harm to the host cells. The defensins are peptides found in granules in the polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) and are responsible for the defense of the organism. Several animal defensins, like dermaseptin, antileukoprotease, protegrin, and others, have had their activities and efficacy tested and been shown to be effective against bacteria, fungi, and protists; there are also specific defensins from invertebrates, e.g., drosomycin and heliomicin; from plants, e.g., the types A and B; and the bacteriocins, e.g., acrocin, marcescin, etc. The aim of the present work was to compile a comprehensive bibliographic review of the diverse potentially antimicrobial peptides in an effort to systematize the current knowledge on these substances as a contribution for further researches. The currently available bibliography does not give a holistic approach on this subject. The present work intends to show that the mechanism of defense represented by defensins is promising from the perspective of its application in the treatment of infectious diseases in human, animals and plants.






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