Antimicrobial peptide antibiotics against multidrug-resistant ESKAPE pathogens

Guangshun Wang, Atul Verma, Scott Reiling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reminds human beings of the challenging nature of the virus SARS-CoV-2. Likewise, bacterial resistance constitutes another potential threat to human health globally. It is the time to prepare for the worst scenario that antibiotic-resistant pathogens could cause 10 million deaths by 2050. Six major types of bacterial pathogens are abbreviated as ESKAPE (i.e., gram-positive Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, gram-negative Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) due to their capability of escaping the action of conventional antibiotics. These pathogens utilize different mechanisms to mitigate the killing effects of antibiotics. To identify potent antimicrobials, numerous approaches are under exploration. This chapter summarizes antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), their engineered analogs, synthetic mimics, conjugates, combinations, formulated nanoparticles, and surface immobilized forms that have demonstrated activity against the ESKAPE pathogens. Also discussed are mechanisms of bacterial killing, and the potential of AMPs as future antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAntimicrobial Peptides
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Future Perspectives
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780323856829
ISBN (Print)9780323903202
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • antibiotics
  • antimicrobial peptides
  • ESKAPE pathogens
  • innate immune peptides
  • Multidrug resistance (MDR)
  • peptide engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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