Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are part of the innate immune system that is widely distributed in nature, acting as a defense mechanism against invading microorganisms. AMPs have potent antimicrobial activity against a range of microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses. In view of growing multidrug resistance, AMPs are increasingly being viewed as potential therapeutic agents with a novel mechanism of action. Mastoparan, a natural, highly positively charged AMP derived from the venom of wasps, is a highly effective antibacterial agent and is therefore a potential alternative to currently antibiotics. Participants will discuss the potential of this new compound as well as the increasing understanding of the role antibiotics play in nature.