Immunotherapy for Pulmonary TB

Antimicrobial Peptides and Their Inducers

Cesar Enrique Rivas-Santiago; Rogelio Hernández-Pando; Bruno Rivas-Santiago

Disclosures

Immunotherapy. 2013;5:1117-1126. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

TB is an infectious disease that still has an enormous impact on public health worldwide. With the continuous increasing epidemic of multidrug-resistant TB, new drugs and vaccines are urgently needed. In the last decade there has been a broad advance in the knowledge of innate immunity in TB. Together with the growing research regarding immunomodulators, new promising insights have been developed that can contribute in the control of TB. This is the case of antimicrobial peptides, which can be potential therapeutic or adjuvant agents. The current high cost of antimicrobial peptide synthesis may be a current deterrent for treatment; antimicrobial peptide-inducers can be an alternative for low-cost treatment and/or adjuvants.

Introduction

TB is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB has existed in humanity for centuries. Despite this long relationship and the huge advance in the knowledge of the etiological agent, M. tuberculosis is still at the top of the list of pathogens that causes huge mortality worldwide; every time a new anti-TB drug comes aboard a new multidrug-resistant (MDR) M. tuberculosis strain emerges. This makes it a tough task for researchers to find novel anti-TB drugs. Vaccination is another strategy used to eradicate TB; however, the only licensed vaccine currently is BCG, which is about 100 years old and shows variable efficacy ranging from 0 to 80%. Altogether, these data suggest that present strategies to eradicate TB should be improved, and one promising approach is the use of immunotherapeutics, which together with conventional drugs and vaccines raise new hope. Within these immunotherapeutic agents, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a very important group due to their versatile activity. This article will focus on the advances made in research of AMPs and AMP inducers, and their use in TB treatment.

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