Cationic antimicrobial peptide killing of African trypanosomes and Sodalis glossinidius, a bacterial symbiont of the insect vector of sleeping sickness.

Lee R. Haines, Robert E.W. Hancock, Terry W. Pearson

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Nine biochemically distinct cationic antimicrobial peptides were tested in vitro for their effects on bloodstream forms and procyclic (insect) forms of African trypanosomes, the protozoan parasites that cause African sleeping sickness in humans and trypanosomiasis in domestic animals. At low concentrations, one peptide completely inhibited growth of bloodstream forms, one inhibited procyclic forms, and five inhibited both trypanosome life cycle stages. The peptides were also tested on Sodalis glossinidius, a bacterial symbiont of tsetse flies. S. glossinidius was highly resistant to seven of the nine peptides, including both that specifically inhibited either bloodstream or procyclic forms and three of the five that inhibited both trypanosome life cycle stages. The results indicate that several of these peptides may be ideal candidates for therapy of trypanosome infected mammals or for transgenic expression in S. glossinidius as a strategy for inhibiting trypanosome survival, development, and maturation in tsetse and interference with transmission of African sleeping sickness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalVector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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