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Naturally occurring cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) have been considered as promising candidates to treat infections caused by pathogenic bacteria to animals and humans. This assumption is based on their mechanism of action, which is mainly performed through electrostatic membrane interactions. Unfortunately, the rise in the reports that describe bacterial resistance to CAMPs has redefined their role as therapeutic agents. In this review, we describe the state of the art of the most common resistance mechanisms developed by bacteria to CAMPs, making special emphasis on resistance selection. Considering most of the resistance mechanisms here reviewed, the emergence of resistance is unlikely in the short term, however we also described evidences that show the evolution of resistance to CAMPs, reevaluating their use as good antibacterial agents. Finally, the knowledge related to the description of CAMP resistance mechanisms may provide useful information for improving strategies to control infections.


José Luis Anaya-López, Joel Edmundo López-Meza, Alejandra Ochoa-Zarzosa. Bacterial resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides. Critical reviews in microbiology. 2013 May;39(2):180-95

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PMID: 22799636

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