Multifunctional host defense peptides: Antiparasitic activities

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Whereas significant knowledge is accumulating on the antibacterial and antifungal properties of host defense peptides (HDPs) and their synthetic mimics, much less is known of their activities against parasites. A variety of in vitro and in vivo antiparasitic assays suggest that these notorious antimicrobial compounds could represent a powerful tool for the development of novel drugs to fight parasites in the vertebrate host or to complement current therapeutic strategies, albeit the fact that HDPs essentially act by nonspecific mechanisms casts serious doubt on their ability to exert sufficient selectivity to be considered ideal candidates for drug development. This minireview summarizes recent efforts to assess the antiparasitic properties of HDPs and their synthetic derivatives, focusing on two of the most used models -Plasmodium and Leishmania species - for antiparasitic assays against the different development stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6474-6482
Number of pages9
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Chemical mimicry
  • Drug design
  • Drug resistance
  • Infectious disease
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria
  • Membrane active compound
  • Oligo-acyl-lysyl
  • Peptide-mimetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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