For many years a battle has been going on between bacteria and humans, with bacteria trying to survive against the antibiotics
used by humans. Bacteria are found to be dominant in this battle since they can develop resistance. In fact, in the last decade multi-, extended-
and pan-drug resistant bacteria have been isolated. On the other hand, the number of new antibiotics approved by the FDA has
dramatically decreased during the last 20 years. Therefore, there is a desperate need for developing new types of antibacterial agents,
where antimicrobial peptides may play an important role. This review provides an update of the recently identified antimicrobial peptides.
Three valid approaches for developing a future antibacterial agent, as are the mechanisms of action as well as the in vitro and in
vivo assays have been described in depth. In comparison to the antibacterial agents available at present, the targets for most of the antimicrobial
peptides are not well known. However several proposals having been introduced for many antimicrobial peptides of different
mechanisms of action, there still lies some uncertainty about their utility. Hundreds of antimicrobial peptides have been tested in vitro
against all types of bacteria, but in this review we will highlight only those which have been tested against the most important Grampositive
and Gram-negative bacteria. The last step to get a potential antibiotic includes studies with an in vivo model. Therefore only antimicrobial
peptides with good activity are tested that have been described in this review.
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides, mechanism of action, barrel model, toroidal model, aggregate model, carpet model, “in vitro” activity,
“in vivo” activity, melittin, indolicidin, cecropin A, magainin II, pexiganan, buforin
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