Liposome-Encapsulated Antimicrobial Peptides: Potential Infectious Diseases Therapy

Liposome-Encapsulated Antimicrobial Peptides: Potential Infectious Diseases Therapy

Anju Gupta (Rose-Hulman Institute, USA), Reetu Gupta (South Coast Hospitals Group, USA) and Sudarshan Kurwardkar (California State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6363-3.ch014
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The purpose of this chapter is to review the potential use of liposomes and peptides to address the ongoing challenges in infectious diseases involving antimicrobial resistance. The First section of this chapter describes and discusses the use of liposomes as model membrane to gain an insight on the membrane binding and disruption behavior of the potent peptides. Under this section, various biophysical techniques used to characterize the interactions are reviewed. In the second section, the use of antimicrobial peptides as an alternative to conventional antimicrobial therapy is presented. The final section of this chapter reviews liposomal encapsulation of antimicrobial peptides as an effective delivery strategy.
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Liposomes: Drug Delivery Platform

The use of liposomes as a drug delivery platform is an area of extensive research and to a certain extent successful too. Some of the most widely used liposome-based antimicrobial agents includes AmBisome® (Gilead Sciences, Inc, San Dimas, CA), Amphotec® (Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc, Bedford, OH) and Abelcet® (Sigma-Tau PharmaSource, Inc, Indianapolis, IN). Liposomal formulations exhibit enhanced activity against pathogens since the incorporated antimicrobial agent becomes less prone to the inactivation by bacterial enzymes. The other theory to support enhanced activity is the reduced electrostatic repulsion of liposomal antibiotics (Nacucchio, 1985). Clinically it has been noted that due to the release of drug upon target attainment, the antimicrobial related toxicity in-vivo is much lower (Uhumwangho et al., 2005).

With the on-going research on liposomes, there are certain challenges that have been identified with the designing of liposomes. One of them is related to the premature drug release from liposome before reaching the target. The other challenge is that higher liposomal volume is needed when the encapsulation efficiency is low to achieve clinical dosages (Mirzaee et al., 2009). Development of resistance like in any other antimicrobial agent is another issue that can reduce the efficacy of liposomal formulations. Resistance can develop due to enzymatic inactivation by bacterial enzymes, alterations on molecular target preventing the drug to enter the cell and rapid extrusion of drug (Nikaido, 1994, Immordino et al., 2006). Various types of liposomes were also found to interact with the blood coagulation system in-vivo. They interact with blood cells, especially platelets, leading to thrombocytopenia (Constantinescu, 2003 and Reinish, 1988).

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