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Novel natural and synthetic anticandidal therapeutic peptides to combat drug resistant infections
1  Department of Biotechnology, Chandigarh Group of Colleges CGC Landran Mohali, Punjab (India
Academic Editor: Marc Maresca


Candida species are considered as common flora of the healthy human mycobiome and occur on skin, mucosal surfaces of gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracks. Pathogenic Candida spp., reported to cause skin, vaginal and oral infections as well as systemic infection in immunocompromised humans. Extensive use of antifungal agents has increased the drug resistance among pathogenic strains of Candida. The biofilm formation ability of Candida strains also adds on resistance to antifungal drugs. This increased resistant desperately requires alternative antifungal agents to overcome this problem. To this effect, recently naturally occurring AMPs and synthetically modified peptides, are effectively being used as promising antifungal agents.

Short peptides display better permeability to cross the yeast membrane, thus short antifungal peptide were designed using sequences from APD database. Antifungal potential of designed peptides was predicted in terms of protein binding potential, amphipathicity, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity and net charge. In vitro synthetic peptides (SK08 and pep2) showed anticandidal activity against various test strains. Natural peptides are potent antifungal agents, considering these facts, we focused on screening potent antifungal peptides from Bacillus sp. strain A52 and Bacillus sp. strain SVDS-15 that were found to inhibit various pathogenic Candida strains. However, both of these lipopeptides exhibited hemolytic activity. Interestingly, the lipopeptides did not show any phytotoxic effect in seed germination experiments. Further, emulgel formulations were developed containing cetomacrogol 1000 and lipopeptides (A52 and SVDS-15) which showed in vitro, antimicrobial activity. No irritation effects were observed with formulation during animal studies using BALB/c mice indicating their potential for external therapeutic applications.

Keywords: synthetic, anticandidal, therapeutic peptides