Journal Article

Therapeutic activity of a killer peptide against experimental paracoccidioidomycosis

Luiz R. Travassos, Luis S. Silva, Elaine G. Rodrigues, Stefania Conti, Antonella Salati, Walter Magliani and Luciano Polonelli

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 54, issue 5, pages 956-958
Published in print November 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online November 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Therapeutic activity of a killer peptide against experimental paracoccidioidomycosis

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Objectives: To evaluate whether an engineered synthetic decapeptide (KP) derived from the sequence of a recombinant anti-idiotypic antibody, that represents the internal image of a Pichia anomala killer toxin, could be fungicidal in vitro and therapeutic in vivo against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM).

Methods: Fungicidal activity of KP was assessed in vitro and in vivo by inhibition of colony forming units and by histological examination, 8 days after infection, of organs from mice intravenously injected with a virulent strain of P. brasiliensis (3 × 106 yeast cells) and intraperitoneally treated with KP (3.3 μg/g body weight, three doses), in comparison with control animals equally administered with a scrambled decapeptide (SP).

Results: KP but not SP was fungicidal in vitro at 39 ng/multiply-budding yeast cell and less efficiently in its D-isomeric form (0.31 μg/multiply-budding yeast cell). It was also able to markedly reduce the fungal load in organs (liver, lung, spleen) of infected animals.

Conclusions: The therapeutic effect observed opens the way for using the antifungal peptide as an alternative control of PCM in association with conventional antifungal drugs.

Keywords: anti-idiotypic fragments; killer mimotopes; paracoccidioidomycosis

Journal Article.  1680 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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