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Less need for antibiotics with antimicrobial peptides

The application of antibiotics can be reduced in pig breeding (semen preservation) by using antimicrobial peptides, researchers have found.

The results of the study have been published in the scientific online-journal PLOS ONE .

Antimicrobial substances are necessary and mandatory for the liquid preservation of boar semen, but the worldwide development of resistance to antibiotics, not only in artificial insemination (AI) industries, urges researchers to find alternatives to conventional antibiotics.

Thus, in order to combat the increase in bacterial resistance, new agents for new targets have to be developed. German researchers therefore investigated the application of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) as substitutes for antibiotics in liquid sperm preservation. These AMPs are molecules that are naturally occurring amino acid compounds, are toxic for bacteria and can be found in nearly all organisms as a first defence against germs.

For this study, synthetic cationic antimicrobial peptides were produced. They were able to show that AMPs fight bacteria effectively in test tubes, and also that two of the investigated AMPs suppressed bacterial growth in liquid preserved semen preparations if combined with a small amount of the antibiotic "gentamicin." The sperm quality was not impeded by this addition.

According to the researchers, additional application could be preservation of other cells or treatment of superficial infections.

Source: Science Daily

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