DTRA Funded Effort Studies Anti-infective Properties of Reptile Serum
Seven months ago, DTRA initiated a research effort to take advantage of the anti-infective properties of reptile serum. The concept is to identify and use constitutive parts of serum that enables animals to fight infection, notably cationic antimicrobial peptides. These peptides will be isolated using a novel, nanoparticle-based approach.
The foundation for this DTRA-funded work is research performed at George Mason University (GMU) in the laboratories of Dr. Monique van Hoek (National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases) and Dr. Barney Bishop (Department of Chemistry) that demonstrated anti-microbial and anti-biofilm properties of these CAMPs. Recently, their published work has been recognized by the respective journals as being among the highest viewed articles. For example, their paper in Frontiers in Microbiology has received 1391 views . The companion paper in BMC Microbiology was “Highly Accessed” with 5647 views so far , and a second companion paper in BBRC received a favorable score in a Faculty of 1000 review [3,4]. All of the researchers and students involved are very excited to be working on this project. The principal investigator on the project HDTRA1-12-C-0039 “Translational Peptides for Personal Protection” is Dr. Joel Schnur. (POC Al Graziano, 767-3360)
1. Dean, S. N., Bishop, B. M., & Van Hoek, M. L. (2011). Susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm to alpha-helical peptides: D-enantiomer of LL-37. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2.
2. Dean, S. N., Bishop, B. M., & van Hoek, M. L. (2011). Natural and synthetic cathelicidin peptides with anti-microbial and anti-biofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus. BMC Microbiology, 11(1), 114.
3. Amer, L. S., Bishop, B. M., & van Hoek, M. L. (2010). Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of cathelicidins and short, synthetic peptides against Francisella. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 396(2), 246-251.