Dental caries is a multifactorial disease that is a growing and costly global health concern. The onset of disease is a consequence
of an ecological imbalance within the dental plaque biofilm that favors specific acidogenic and aciduric caries pathogens,
namely Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus. It is now recognized by the scientific and medical community that it is neither possible nor desirable to totally eliminate
dental plaque. Conversely, the chemical biocides most commonly used for caries prevention and treatment indiscriminately attack
all plaque microorganisms. These treatments also suffer from other drawbacks such as bad taste, irritability, and staining.
Furthermore, the public demand for safe and natural personal hygiene products continues to rise. Therefore, there are opportunities
that exist to develop new strategies for the treatment of this disease. As an alternative to conventional antibiotics, antibacterial
peptides have been explored greatly over the last three decades for many different therapeutic uses. There are currently tens
of hundreds of antibacterial peptides characterized across the evolutionary spectrum, and among these, many demonstrate physical
and/or biological properties that may be suitable for a more targeted approach to the selective control or elimination of
putative caries pathogens. Additionally, many peptides, such as nisin, are odorless, colorless, and tasteless and do not cause
irritation or staining. This review focuses on antibacterial peptides for their potential role in the treatment and prevention
of dental caries and suggests candidates that need to be explored further. Practical considerations for the development of
antibacterial peptides as oral treatments are also discussed.
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"They are secreted by the parotid and sublingual glands in humans  and in higher primates (macaques) , with a broad-spectrum of antibacterial activity . Among the 12 protein forms found in saliva, the principal ones are HST-1, -3, and -5 . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of adhesion to solid surfaces enable S. mutans to colonize oral cavities and form biofilms, which play an important role in caries development. Additional properties enabling the survival of S. mutans in the oral cavity include its ability to survive in acidic environments and specific interactions with other microorganisms inhabiting this ecosystem. The aim of this study was to determine the antibacterial activity of saliva histatin-5 (peptide) and lysozyme (protein) against S. mutans and L. rhamnosus, as representatives of physiological flora. The study involved strains of physiological (L. rhamnosus) and cariogenic (S. mutans) flora isolated from one patient with diagnosed early caries of the deciduous teeth. It was proved that the presence of probiotic L. rhamnosus bacteria in the environment had a negative impact on the ability of S. mutans to produce biofilm. Moreover, the antibacterial activity of histatin-5 was confirmed, and it inhibited S. mutans growth at concentrations of 27.2 μg/ml and 54.4 μg/ml, both individually and in a mixture with lysozyme (in a total concentration of 54.4 μg/ml). The data obtained constitute a promising result due to their potential future application in the prevention and early diagnosis of caries.
Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej (Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine) 09/2015; 69:1056-1066. · 0.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is now a serious problem, with traditional classes of antibiotics having gradually become ineffective. New drugs are therefore needed to target and inhibit novel pathways that affect the growth of bacteria. An important feature in the survival of bacteria is that they coordinate their efforts together as a colony via secreted auto-inducing molecules. Competence stimulating peptides (CSPs) are among the quorum sensing pheromones involved in this coordination. These peptides activate a two-component system in gram-negative bacteria, binding to and activating a histidine kinase receptor called ComD, which phosphorylates a response regulator called ComE, leading to gene expression and induction of competence. Competent bacteria are able to take up exogenous DNA and incorporate it into their own genome. By this mechanism bacteria are able to acquire and share genes encoding antibiotic resistance. Despite having been studied for over 30 years, this pathway has only recently begun to be explored as a novel approach to modulating bacterial growth. Antagonists of ComD might block the signaling cascade that leads to competence, while overstimulation of ComD might also reduce bacterial growth. One possible approach to inhibiting ComD is to examine peptide sequences of CSPs that activate ComD and attempt to constrain them to bioactive conformations, likely to have higher affinity due to pre-organization for recognition by the receptor. Thus, small molecules that mimic an alpha helical epitope of CSPs, the putative ComD binding domain, have been shown here to inhibit growth of bacteria such as S. pneumoniae. Such alpha helix mimetics may be valuable clues to antibacterial chemotherapeutic agents that utilize a new mechanism to control bacterial growth.
Current drug targets 05/2012; 13(11):1348-59. DOI:10.2174/138945012803530233 · 3.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteriocins are antimicrobial peptides produced by a variety of bacteria. These peptides can act as antibiotic synergists or alternatives to enhance the therapeutic effects of current infection treatments and decrease the prevalence of resistant strains. Two bacteriocins, namely nisin and pediocin PA-1, are currently being used by the food industry; however, the introduction of these and others into the biomedical industry, and further development of food applications, have been challenged by the slow development of reliable delivery systems. For bacteriocins, these systems rely on novel and pre-existing technologies. Many essential variables need to be accounted for to formulate successful delivery methods. In this review, documented and potential bacteriocin delivery systems are examined, with special attention paid to how those systems are being implemented in the food and medical industries.