High-throughput selection of pathogen specific antimicrobials from random sequence peptide microarrays

Description:

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest healthcare challenges. Overuse and misuse of conventional antibiotics along with their broad spectra have triggered development of multi-drug resistant superbugs.

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a novel process for producing alternative antimicrobial agents specific for any particular bacterial pathogen. The bacteria of interest are applied to an array of 10,000 random sequence peptides; combination of intracellular staining and membrane labeling of bacterial cells allows distinguishing between binding and lytic peptides directly from the array; active peptides are screened for specificity. This permits design of antibacterial synthetic antibodies that are targeted to specific bacteria without the broad toxicity of naturally-occurring antibacterial peptides.

This process has been demonstrated for E. coli O111:B4, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, and Bacilus subtilis, but this system is generalizable to create antimicrobial agents with defined characteristics for any pathogen (bacterial, protozoan, fungal, yeast).

Potential Applications

  • High-throughput selection of antibacterial candidates specific for any particular pathogen
  • Drug discovery
  • Developing a treatment for antibiotic-resistant superbugs
  • Developing a treatment for other pathogens like protozoa, fungi, yeast

      Benefits and Advantages

      • High-throughput
      • Antimicrobial peptides have several advantages
      • relatively simple and inexpensive synthesis
      • Faster action due to external position of target molecules
      • few cases of developed resistance
      • selectivity for prokaryotic rather than eukaryotic cells
      • Protection of commensal flora
      • Possibility to develop a treatment for unknown pathogen in a case of invasion


      For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see
      Dr. Johnston's directory webpage


    • Case ID:
      M12-025L^
      Published:
      02-26-2020
      Last Updated:
      09-08-2021

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