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Peptides. 2008 Oct;29(10):1836-41. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2008.05.024. Epub 2008 Jun 5.

Role of antimicrobial peptides in host defense against mycobacterial infections.

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Departamento de Inmunología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, México, D.F. 11340, Mexico.


Worldwide, tuberculosis remains the most important infectious disease causing morbidity and death. Currently, at least one-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that about 8-10 million new tuberculosis cases occur annually worldwide and this incidence is currently increasing. Moreover, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis has been increasing in incidence in many areas during the past decade. These situations underscore the importance of the development of new therapeutic agents against mycobacterial infectious diseases. In this article, it is review current progress in the understanding of antimicrobial peptides as potential candidates to develop an alternative/adjunct therapeutic strategy against tuberculosis. This immunoadjunctive therapy might be evaluated in the context of possible drug resistance. This review also summarizes the knowledge about the functions of antimicrobial peptides in the pulmonary innate host defense system and their role in mycobacterial infection, and at the same time outlines recent advances in our understanding of the combined effect of antimicrobial peptides and anti-tuberculosis drugs against intracellular mycobacteria. A concerted effort should now focus on the clinical application of antimicrobial peptides for their practical use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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