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.
Yuvon Mobley, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States