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.