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 ResearchResearch AreasImmunology and Innate DefensesBobek     August 20, 2014  

Immunology and Innate Defenses

LIBUSE BOBEK, PhD personal profile

Antimicrobial activity/mechanism of action of salivary proteins/peptides

We have discovered that a low molecular weight salivary mucin (MUC7)-derived peptides exhibit potent and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities in vitro. This includes antifungal activity against clinical important fungal strains (such as Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, and their azole-resistant and amphotericin B-resistant counterparts) and antibacterial activity (including Streptococcus mutans, bacteria causing tooth caries). The observed potencies of these peptides are comparable to that of the currently used antimicrobial agents.

Due to undesirable toxicity and the rapid development of drug-resistant strains to conventional antimicrobials, increased interest has been developed in the discovery and use of naturally occurring (non-toxic) antimicrobial peptides. The long-range goal of our research is to develop the novel salivary-derived peptides into effective antimicrobial therapeutic agents particularly for drug-resistant infections (primarily in immunocompromised patients, e.g. AIDS and organ transplant patients). These peptides could also be used as antibacterial and antifungal components of artificial saliva for the treatment of salivary dysfunctions, clinically manifested by increase in plaque formation, caries and periodontitis.

Another area of Dr. Bobek's research is available at Saliva and Salivary Glands