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Antimicrobial Cross-Resistance Risk

The struggle to surmount antibiotic-resistant bacteria seems to grow daily. One line of research aims to develop a new class of antimicrobial therapy—antimicrobial peptides (AMP), based on small molecules of the innate immune system that exhibit microbicidal and immuno-modulatory activity. But like antibiotics, bacteria can evolve resistance to AMPs, risking the possibility that bacteria will also be able to resist the first arm of the human immune system.

In new research published in Biology Letters, scientists demonstrate for the first time that forcing bacteria to evolve resistance to one AMP can confer some cross-resistance to a natural host-defense peptide.

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