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Research on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) found in fish

Research Achievements

Research on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) found in fish

Living in an environment teaming with bacteria and fungi, fish have evolved powerful defenses against waterborne pathogens, including antimicrobial peptides located in their gills. IGERT Fellow Todd Alexander and Professor Terri Camesano are studying the biology and the mechanics of one of those peptides, with the hope they can use that knowledge to create engineered surfaces that kill bacteria responsible for hospital-acquired infections. As fish filter water through their gills to extract oxygen, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), including Chrysosphin-1, trap and kill pathogens before they can invade the fish's bloodstream. Scientists in many laboratories around the world are actively exploring the potential use of these molecules to prevent human infections. In the current study, the WPI team is creating new methods to attach AMPs to silicon and gold surfaces, and measuring the bound peptides' ability to kill the bacterial pathogen E. coli.