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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 1998 Feb;7(2):167-74.

The therapeutic potential of cationic peptides.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of British Columbia, Room 300, 6174 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Novel classes of antibiotics that are useful against resistant bacteria are a major need in human medicine. Cationic antimicrobial peptides are utilised as nature's antibiotics, being produced constitutively or in response to infection in virtually every type of organism from plants and insects to man. Thus, these peptides are now being considered as potential antibiotics for infections. They have the following assets: structural diversity, rapid bactericidal action, a broad spectrum of activity that includes most of the clinically important resistant pathogens, and several ancillary activities which can include antifungal, antiviral, anti-endotoxin activities, and promotion of wound healing. Cationic peptides and proteins are now proceeding through clinical trials as topical antibiotics and anti-endotoxins.


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