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Product title :

Using genomics to identify novel antimicrobials

Author(s) : W.H. Kim, H.S. Lillehoj & C.G. Gay

Summary :

There is a critical need in animal agriculture to develop novel antimicrobials and alternative strategies that will help to reduce the use of antibiotics and address the challenges of antimicrobial resistance. High-throughput gene expression analysis is providing new tools that are enabling the discovery of host-derived antimicrobial peptides. Examples of gene-encoded natural antibiotics that have gained attention include antimicrobial peptides such as human granulysin and its multi-species homolog, namely NK-lysin, which provide a protective response against a broad range of microbes and are a principal component of innate immunity in vertebrates. Both granulysin and NK-lysin are localised in cytolytic granules in natural killer and cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Host-derived NK-lysins that were first described in mammals are also found in avian species, and they have been shown to have antimicrobial activities that could potentially be used to control important poultry pathogens. Morphological alterations observed following chicken NK-lysin binding to Eimeria sporozoites and Escherichia coli membranes indicate damage and disruption of cell membranes, suggesting that NK-lysin kills pathogenic protozoans and bacteria by direct interaction.


Antibiotic alternative – Antimicrobial peptide – Avian species – Genomics – Granulysin – NK-2 – NK-lysin.

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