Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has posed a serious threat to global public health and it requires immediate action, preferably long term. Current drug therapies have failed to curb this menace due to the ability of microbes to circumvent the mechanisms through which the drugs act. From the drug discovery point of view, the majority of drugs currently employed for antimicrobial therapy are small molecules. Recent trends reveal a surge in the use of peptides as drug candidates as they offer remarkable advantages over small molecules.
Methods: Newer synthetic strategies like organometalic complexes, Peptide-polymer conjugates, solid phase, liquid phase and recombinant DNA technology encouraging the use of peptides as therapeutic agents with a host of chemical functions, and tailored for specific applications. In the last decade, many peptide based drugs have been successfully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This success can be attributed to their high specificity, selectivity and efficacy, high penetrability into the tissues, less immunogenicity and less tissue accumulation. Considering the enormity of AMR, the use of Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs) can be a viable alternative to current therapeutics strategies. AMPs are naturally abundant allowing synthetic chemists to develop semi-synthetics peptide molecules. AMPs have a broad spectrum of activity towards microbes and they possess the ability to bypass the resistance induction mechanisms of microbes.
Result: The present review focuses on the potential applications of AMPs against various microbial disorders and their future prospects. Several resistance mechanisms and their strategies have also been discussed to highlight the importance in the current scenario.
Conclusion: Breakthroughs in AMP designing, peptide synthesis and biotechnology have shown promise in tackling this challenge and has revived the interest of using AMPs as an important weapon in fighting AMR.