About this Research Topic
With the spread of antibiotic-resistant microbial pathogens, synthetic lipopeptides such as daptomycin have emerged as exciting candidates for next generation anti-infective therapies. Recent advances in synthetic lipopeptides, driven by the biochemical and biophysical research, expanded their spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Lipopeptides, consisting of an acyl chain conjugated with a short peptide chain, insert into the bacterial membrane and dissipate its transmembrane potential. In addition to antimicrobial activity, synthetic lipopeptides also suppress inflammation through the neutralization of bacterial agonists of the innate immune response. Recent studies based on animal models indicate that synthetic lipopeptides may surpass the natural lipopeptides as the perspective class of anti-infective agents.
Currently, the clinical use of antibiotics is based on the concept that they reduce the bacterial load, enabling the host’s immune defense to control those that survive or that are resistant to the antibiotic drug. A direct immunomodulatory effect of antibiotics on host defense is speculative. Immunomodulation is a novel approach to antimicrobial therapy that centres on boosting host immunity rather than direct microbial killing. While recent studies are beginning to shed light on the immunomodulatory effect of synthetic lipopeptides, much remains to be learned. In this research topic, hosted by Frontiers in Immunology, we aim to highlight key areas of lipopeptide research including structure-function relationships, antimicrobial activity and mechanisms of immune-modulation. By highlighting the newest investigations into this topic we hope to gain deeper insights into the interplay of lipopeptides and the immune system components to better understand the activity of these lipopeptides against a wide variety of microbial pathogens
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