Antimicrobials and insects (avoiding resistance)

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Omai
Omai's picture
Antimicrobials and insects (avoiding resistance)

I just read this fascinating article in Science about antimicrobials and insects (avoiding resistance). Natural antibiotics are much less prone to creating resistance in bacterial populations. This group puts forth the hypothesis that insects use antimicrobials for long term clearance of bacterial infections, and not to fight the initial, large influx of bacteria (this is fought by the cellular arm of the insect immune system). This leads to less antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Contrast this, with our own clinical use of antibiotics. The uses a number of experiments to back their claim.

Here is the link:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/322/5905/1257

Enjoy,
Omai

heehawmcduff
heehawmcduff's picture
I think this is a fascinating

I think this is a fascinating subject (one on which I am currently working),  Obviously, animals, plants and insects all possess different families of antimicrobial peptides (host defense peptides) and it's phenomenal that these evolutionarily-conserved elements of the innate immune system show very little bacterial resistance.  I am more interested in the immunomodulatory roles of these peptides however, and I would suggest that this fantastic area of research is certainly of equal importance in the functions of host defense peptides.