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Trends Biotechnol. 2009 Oct;27(10):582-90. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Potential of immunomodulatory host defense peptides as novel anti-infectives.

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Centre for Microbial Diseases & Immunity Research, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Room 232, 2259 Lower Mall Research Station, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4.


A fundamentally new strategy for the treatment of infectious disease is the modulation of host immune responses to enhance clearance of infectious agents and reduce tissue damage due to inflammation. Antimicrobial host defense peptides have been investigated for their potential as a new class of antimicrobial drugs. Recently their immunomodulatory activities have begun to be appreciated. Modulation of innate immunity by synthetic variants of host defense peptides, called innate defense regulators (IDRs), is protective without direct antimicrobial action. We discuss the potential and current limitations in exploiting the immunomodulatory activity of IDRs as a novel anti-infective pathway. IDRs show significant promise and current research is uncovering mechanistic information that will aid in the future development of IDRs for clinical use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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