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Nature's Scientific Reports Article reveals mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides

Saturday March 30 2013

Resistance to antibiotics is world-wide problem. Antimicrobial peptides are promising alternatives but their mechanism of action in living cells has rarely been examined directly.

In a study published today in Scientific Reports a team of researchers from Swinburne University and Melbourne University watched the dynamic interaction of peptides with individual bacterial cells.

Using a special form of microscopy, called lifetime imaging microscopy, they could detect the formation of stable pores in the membranes of synthetic lipids. However, when the experiment was performed on living bacteria the extent of pore formation and kinetics was distinctly different to the model membrane system. This results suggest that the standard model of antimicrobial peptide action requires revision.

For more information see the article.