Professor Mark Willcox recently visited Spaienza Universita Di Roma to give a talk and to meet with Professor Marialuisa Mangoni. Professor Mangoni’s research focusses on antimicrobial peptides.
Professors Willcox and Mangoni, along with Dr Dutta from the School, have recently published a paper describing the ability of frog-skin derived peptides, esculentins, to prevent the adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to contact lenses (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bip.23074/full).
Esculentin peptides retained activity when bound to contact lenses, and could reduce the adhesion of P. aeruginosa by over four log10. Contact lenses with bound esculentin peptides have the potential to prevent adverse events caused by this bacterium, such as microbial keratitis. Future work will establish the spectrum of activity of the bound peptides on contact lenses, and the ability of the pepides to prevent keratitis.
[Professor Mangoni and Professor Willcox]