In Vitro and In Vivo Studies on the Antibacterial Activity and Safety of a New Antimicrobial Peptide Dermaseptin-AC

Jiajia Chen, Doudou Hao, Kai Mei, Xin Li, Tingting Li, Chengbang Ma, Xinping Xi, Lei Li, Lei Wang, Mei Zhou, Tianbao Chen, Jia Liu, Qing Wu

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Antimicrobial resistance has been an increasing public health threat in recent years. Antimicrobial peptides are considered as potential drugs against drug-resistant bacteria because they are mainly broad-spectrum and are unlikely to cause resistance. In this study, a novel peptide was obtained from the skin secretion of Agalychnis callidryas using the “shotgun” cloning method. The amino acid sequence, molecular weight, and secondary structure of Dermaseptin-AC were determined. The in vitro antimicrobial activity, hemolysis, and cytotoxicity of Dermaseptin-AC were evaluated. MICs and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of Dermaseptin-AC against seven different bacterial strains ranged between 2 ∼ 4 μM and 2 ∼ 8 μM. The HC50 (50% maximum hemolysis concentration) of Dermaseptin-AC against horse erythrocytes was 76.55 μM. The in vivo anti-MRSA effect was tested on immune-suppressed MRSA pneumonia in mice. Dermaseptin-AC showed anti-MRSA effects similar to the same dose of vancomycin (10 mg/kg body weight). Short-term (7 days of intraperitoneal injection, 10 mg/kg body weight) in vivo safety evaluation of Dermaseptin-AC was tested on mice. The survival rate during the 7-day injection was 80%. Dermaseptin-AC showed no obvious effect on the liver, heart, spleen, kidney, and blood, but did induce slight pulmonary congestion. The skin safety of Dermaseptin-AC was evaluated on wounds on the back skin of a rat, and no irritation was observed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01318-21
Number of pages15
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number3
Early online date15 Dec 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 15 Dec 2021


  • bacterial resistance, antimicrobial peptides, Dermaseptin


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