Antimicrobials are a group of agents with the ability to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Anti microbial peptides (AMPs) are short and generally positively charged peptides found in a wide variety of life forms from microorganisms to humans, and are essential components of defence against infection.
Antimicrobial peptides, also known as host defence peptides, are active against bacteria, viruses, microscopic fungi and protozoa - through targeting different cellular components such as bacterial and fungal cell walls, the viral capsid, enzymes involved in DNA transcription, and cellular metabolism.
Antimicrobial peptides are considered as promising alternatives to antibiotics although they often possess poor stability under physiological conditions, high toxicity toward mammalian cells, and low resistance to protease degradation. Nonetheless, they continue to be explored as potential next generation drugs to combat infection and have shown importance in functions such as chemotaxis, angiogenesis and wound healing.