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Peptides. 2003 Nov;24(11):1741-6.

Susceptibility of Treponema pallidum to host-derived antimicrobial peptides.

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Sexually Transmitted Infections Branch, Division of AIDS, STD and TB Laboratory Research, Center for HIV and STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


LL-37 displays potent broad-spectrum activity against a number of pathogenic bacteria and is the only cathelicidin thus far identified in humans. In this study, we examined the capacity of human LL-37 and the similar CAP-18-derived peptide from rabbits to exert antimicrobial activity against the causative agent of syphilis, Treponema pallidum. We found that both peptides, as well as a truncated version of human LL-37 that contains its bactericidal domain, could exert rapid, but salt-sensitive antimicrobial activity against T. pallidum. Infectivity of T. pallidum in a rabbit model could effectively be blocked with the synthetic truncated LL-37-derived peptide WS22-N-amide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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