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PLoS One. 2019 Jan 9;14(1):e0210508. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210508. eCollection 2019.

In vitro and in vivo properties of the bovine antimicrobial peptide, Bactenecin 5.

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Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, United Kingdom.
Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMP), part of the innate immune system, are well studied for their ability to kill pathogenic microorganisms. However, many also possess important immunomodulatory effects, and this area has potential for the development of novel therapies to supplement traditional methods such as the use of antibiotics. Here, we characterise the microbicidal and immunomodulatory potential of the proline-rich bovine AMP, Bactenecin 5 (Bac5). We demonstrate broad antimicrobial activity, including against some mycobacterial species, which are important pathogens of fish, cattle and humans. Bac5 is able to activate macrophage-like THP-1 cells and can synergistically trigger the upregulation of tnf-α when co-stimulated with M. marinum. Furthermore, Bac5 sensitises A549 epithelial cells to stimulation with TNF-α. For the first time, we characterise the activity of Bac5 in vivo, and show it to be a potent chemokine for macrophages in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo model of infection. Bac5 also supports the early recruitment of neutrophils in the presence of M. marinum. In the absence of host adaptive immunity, exogenous injected Bac5 is able to slow, although not prevent, infection of zebrafish with M. marinum.

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