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Tailoring of novel peptide coatings and therapeutics derived from a newly identified component of the human innate immunity against resistant infections
EC contribution
: € 2.800.000
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/12/2006
Funding scheme
: Specific Targeted Research Project
: peptide, resistance, infection, antibacterial, antifungal, therapeutic agent, coating agent
Contract/Grant agreement number
: LSHM-CT-2006-037692
Project web-site
: -


The apoE and apoB human proteins have recently been linked to the innate immune system. Peptide sequences derived from these proteins have been shown to have varied anti-infective properties that can be modified by small changes to the core peptide sequence. Thus, the apoE and apoB peptides exhibit antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and present an excellent opportunity to develop novel therapeutics and medical device coatings.Specifically the exploitation of these novel peptides allows for the potential development of a new array of agents targeting against the growing problems of antibiotic resistant microorganisms.


Infectious diseases represent the commonest cause of morbidity in the world (WHO). Over the last 40 years major advances have been made in the development of numerous classes of antimicrobial agents to treat serious life threatening infections. This is particularly true for antibacterial agents. However microorganisms are slowly turning the tide and becoming increasingly resistant to the agents developed by man. Long term and indiscriminate use of antibacterials has led to resistance developing for all the major classes of therapeutic agents. Increasingly clinicians are fighting a rearguard action with a dwindling armoury of drugs to combat serious life threatening infections. Nosocomial or hospital acquired infections (HAIs) represent an increasingly serious problem across Europe and the rest of the world.
Data from the SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance program of 25 European university hospitals highlighted the five most common bacterial blood isolates. The most prevalent organisms (E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae) are also the most prevalent CVC associated infections (Clin Inf Dis 30; 3). Candida species were also common organisms isolated from blood and carried a crude mortality rate of up to 40%. These organisms are the same organisms where resistance is a major issue. The incidence of resistant bacterial and fungal nosocomial infections is high. The European Study Group on Nosocomial Infections (ESGNI) reports on blood stream infections indicated 72.8% of infections were nosocomial and mortality due to bacteremia was 7.1%. The most frequently isolated microorganisms from BSI were S. aureus (15.1%), E. coli (14.5%), S. epidemidis and coagulase negative staphs (CNS) (17.8%), P. aeruginosa /K. pneumoniae (both 5.3%) and Candida spp and enterococci (both 4.6%).(ESGNI-001, ESGNI-002).

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