© 2017 Trentini, das Neves, Santos, DaSilva, Souza, Mortari, Schwartz, Kipnis and Junqueira-Kipnis. Multi-drug resistant microorganisms have been a growing concern during the last decades due to their contribution in mortality rates worldwide. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are broad spectrum antimicrobial agents that display potent microbicidal activity against a wide range of microorganisms. AMPs generally have a rapid mode of action that reduces the risk of resistance developing among pathogens. In this study, an AMP derived from scorpion venom, NDBP-5.5, was evaluated against Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. massiliense, a rapidly growing and emerging pathogen associated with healthcare infections. The minimal bactericidal concentration of NDBP-5.5, AMP quantity necessary to stop bacteria visible growth, against M. abscessus subsp. massiliense was 200 μM, a concentration that did not induce hemolysis of human red blood cells. The therapeutic index was 3.05 indicating a drug with low toxicity and therefore good clinical potential. Treatment of infected macrophages with NDBP-5.5 or clarithromycin presented similar results, reducing the bacterial load. M. abscessus subsp. massiliense-infected animals showed a decrease in the bacterial load of up to 70% when treated with NDBP-5.5. These results revealed the effective microbicidal activity of NDBP-5.5 against Mycobacterium, indicating its potential as an antimycobacterial agent.
Trentini, M. M., das Neves, R. C., Santos, B. de P. O., DaSilva, R. A., de Souza, A. C. B., Mortari, M. R., … Junqueira-Kipnis, A. P. (2017). Non-disulfide-bridge peptide 5.5 from the scorpion Hadrurus gertschi inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. massiliense. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8(FEB). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00273