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Antimicrobial peptides versus parasitic infections? Reports of antimicrobial peptides generally
can be used alone or to complement existing
have evaluations of their antibacterial and
Shiva-3, blocked Plasmodium bergheiantifungal activities. By contrast, little is
as chloroquine resistance of Plasmodium.
ookinetes development in vitro, and was
known of their activities against protozoan
effective against the early sporogonic stages
and metazoan parasites. In vitro antiparasitic
peptides mainly is exerted against bacteria
assays suggest that antimicrobial peptides
and fungi, but some antiviral and anticancer
demonstrated that a series of derivatives
could represent a powerful tool for the
effects have been described . In contrast
development of novel drugs to fight the parasite in the vertebrate host, or to
antibacterial and antifungal activities, few
Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes . complement current therapeutic strategies.
reports describe activities against protozoan
The first cysteine-rich cationic peptides
reported as active against Plasmodium
ineffective against eukaryotic cells as a
molecules widely distributed in plants and
result of their mode of action, and due to
with the development of Plasmodium
infectious microorganisms [1,2]. During the
gallinaceum oocysts, when injected into
past few years, studies on the components
isolated sporozoites in vitro . Activities
established the contribution of antimicrobial
against P. berghei developmental stages
Leishmania, two of the most widely
response of the invertebrate host .
(1) gambicin (8 kDa) from Anophelesgambiae, which showed a slight in vitro
antimicrobial peptides have been isolated
Antimalarial activities have been described
scorpion Pandinus imperator), which has
antibiotics of distant evolutionary species
for two classes of cationic natural antibiotics:
have provided the basis for simple models
(2) the cysteine-rich open-ended peptides.
of more complex animals such as mammals.
Cecropin and magainin, two linear α-helical
present a strong activity in vitro against
the giant silk moth Hyalophora cecropia
and the skin of the African frog XenopusLeishmania represent one of the most
laevis, respectively, significantly reduced
used models for in vitro antiparasitic
provide design templates for anti-infectious
Plasmodium spp., when injected into
different anopheline mosquito species . Leishmania stages, represent potential
Development of antiparasitic drugs
A stronger effect against Plasmodium was
candidates to help design novel drugs for
topical treatment of this disease .
of deaths around the world every year.
Cecropins isolated from different insects
showed a lytic effect on promastigotes ,
http://parasites.trends.com 1471-4922/02/$ – see front matter 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S1471-4922(02)02389-9
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fungal infections. The reported in vitro
A further leishmanicidal activity has been
activities of some antimicrobial peptides
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stages of the parasite by insect defensin.
the spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana .
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generation of drugs for topic or systemic
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synthetic derivatives display lytic activity
treatment of important parasitic diseases
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against other protozoan parasites, such as
is a promising hope for the new century.
13 Conde, R. et al. (2000) Scorpine, an anti-malaria
Trypanosoma, Trichomonas or
and anti-bacterial agent purified from scorpion
Cryptosporidium . Cecropin is the only
14 Akuffo, H. et al. (1998) Drosophila antibacterial
critical revision of this article. This work
protein, cecropin A, differentially affectsnon-bacterial organisms such as Leishmania in a
reducing Brugia pahangi microfilariae
motility in vitro, and interfering with
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Update 2 - January 2013 Captain J J Murphy MC*, DCM Captain John Joseph Murphy MC*, DCM, one of the most decorated officers to serve with the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, joined the Battalion on 16 September 1917. He was removed from command of B Company in October 1918, having been accused of being drunk by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel P E Kelly.1 It was only just prior to
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