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            Best Paper Award :
Dr. Muhammad Baqir MR Fakhrildin
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Abstract

DEFENSINS: A NOVEL APPROACH TO USE PLANT ANTIMICROBIAL PEPTIDES AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO ANTIBIOTICS

*Dr. Sabiha Imran

ABSTRACT

Indiscriminate and irrational use of antibiotics has created an unprecedented challenge for human civilization due to microbes development of antimicrobial resistance. It is difficult to treat bacterial infection due to bacteria ability to develop resistance against antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial agents are categorized according to their mechanism of action, i.e., interference with cell wall synthesis, DNA and RNA synthesis, lysis of the bacterial membrane, inhibition of protein synthesis, inhibition of metabolic pathways, etc. Bacteria may become resistant by antibiotic inactivation, target modification, efflux pump and plasmidic efflux. Currently, the clinically available treatment is not effective against the antibiotic resistance developed by some bacterial species. However, plant-based antimicrobials have immense potential to combat bacterial, fungal, protozoal and viral diseases without any known side effects. Such plant metabolites include quinines, alkaloids, lectins, polypeptides, flavones, flavonoids, flavonols, coumarin, terpenoids, essential oils and tannins. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are ubiquitous, gene-encoded natural antibiotics that have gained recent attention in the search for new antimicrobials to combat infectious disease AMPs are being extensively evaluated as novel antimicrobial drugs. Plant AMPs are predominantly cysteine-rich compounds that have been isolated from different plant species and from different tissues and show specificity towards Gram-negative or Gram-positive bacteria. Many AMPs kill bacteria by disruption of membrane integrity and are thus thought to be less likely to induce resistance, AMPs are being extensively evaluated as novel antimicrobial drugs. This review summarizes and discusses the antibiotic properties of AMPs highlighting their potential as alternatives to conventional antibiotics.

Keywords: antibiotics, antimicrobial, mechanism of action, defensins, disease.


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