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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Jul;4(7):529-36. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

The co-evolution of host cationic antimicrobial peptides and microbial resistance.

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  • 1Cellular and Molecular Microbiology Division, Medical Microbiology and Hygiene Department, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany. andreas.peschel@uni-tuebingen.de


Endogenous cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) are among the most ancient and efficient components of host defence. It is somewhat of an enigma that bacteria have not developed highly effective CAMP-resistance mechanisms, such as those that inhibit many therapeutic antibiotics. Here, we propose that CAMPs and CAMP-resistance mechanisms have co-evolved, leading to a transient host-pathogen balance that has shaped the existing CAMP repertoire. Elucidating the underlying principles of this process could help in the development of more sustainable antibiotics.

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