Preparation of antimicrobial peptides and quorum sensing inhibitors

The WHO and the EU have recognised the concept of "One Health", according to which human, animal, plant and environmental health are closely linked, and the impact on one affects the others. In recent decades, the misuse or abuse of antimicrobials for human health, intensive livestock and agriculture has led to the emergence of microbial strains that are resistant to known drugs and plant protection products, including those of last resort. Our health, as well as food security, is under threat, and it is essential to develop new strategies to address this problem. Two promising strategies have recently been developed: (a) the use of host defence peptides, which animals and plants have used for millions of years, with very low resistance induction due to their multiple mode of action, and (b) interfering with bacterial communication on which virulence depends, coordinated attacks against the host and the construction of protective microbe biofilms. With this strategy, microbes are not eliminated and therefore the evolutionary pressure towards resistant strains is considerably reduced. Our group is developing antimicrobial peptides for biomedicine, livestock and agriculture, and also compounds with potential quorum sensing inhibitory action. Several of the results have been patented and have led to international communications.