Journal Article

Cationic peptide of the male reproductive tract, HE2α, displays antimicrobial activity against <i>Neisseria gonorrhoeae</i>, <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> and <i>Enterococcus faecalis</i>

M. Liao, P. S. Ruddock, A. S. Rizvi, S. H. Hall, F. S. French and J. R. Dillon

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 56, issue 5, pages 957-961
Published in print November 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Cationic peptide of the male reproductive tract, HE2α, displays antimicrobial activity against Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis

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Objectives: To analyse the in vitro antimicrobial effects of synthetic HE2α peptide against Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis.

Methods: The HE2α peptide was synthesized based on the C-terminal sequence of the HE2α protein. The bacterial strains tested included two antibiotic-susceptible strains of N. gonorrhoeae and four antibiotic-resistant clinical isolates, as well as S. aureus ATCC 29213 and E. faecalis ATCC 29212. Susceptibility determinations were carried out either in 0.7% casamino acids for N. gonorrhoeae isolates or in 10 mM phosphate buffer for S. aureus and E. faecalis strains. Antibacterial effects were measured in a dose- and time-dependent manner. After exposure to the peptide in solution, the number of viable cells was determined by counting colony forming units (cfu).

Results: The HE2α peptide exhibited time- and dose-dependent antibacterial effects on all N. gonorrhoeae isolates tested. S. aureus and E. faecalis strains were also susceptible to the peptide. All strains tested were susceptible to the peptide at high concentrations (50 or 100 mg/L) and some strains were susceptible to a peptide concentration of 25 mg/L.

Conclusions: The peptide HE2α, which is derived from the male urogenital tract, exhibits antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens in vitro. The peptide is active against both antibiotic-susceptible and -resistant N. gonorrhoeae isolates. Further investigation of the antimicrobial properties of the peptide is warranted.

Keywords: susceptibility tests; antimicrobial peptides; sexually transmitted diseases; pathogenic bacteria

Journal Article.  2076 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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