Researchers, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur, have developed a novel antimicrobial peptide from snake venom that could aid in healing wounds quickly. The murine model peptide has also been found to be effective in the prevention of wound infection after surgery. Dr Surjit Ghosh, Professor at the Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering and Department of Smart Healthcare, IIT Jodhpur, said that the main goal of this design strategy was to reduce the risk of snake venom without losing its antimicrobial properties. For this, the venomous position in the snake venom was completely removed.
Apart from this, a helical short peptide was added at the N-terminus so that our newly designed treatment could easily enter the bacterial cell. “Bacterial antibiotic resistance is a threat which scientists across the world have to deal with, and solutions are being worked out. Most naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides have different hydrophobicity and charge structures, which contribute to their powerful bacteria-killing properties. Despite their potential, their use as human therapeutic molecules is largely limited,” Dr Ghosh added.
This research carried out at IIT Jodhpur offers solutions to two major problems. First, the membranolytic ability of the peptide. The non-specific nature gives little chance to the bacteria to develop resistance against it. Second, the peptide can be used as a disinfectant and ointment for wound healing, alone or in combination with other drugs and peptides. It can be used therapeutically as an injectable or oral drug for systemic administration or as an aerosolised formulation.
The research carried out by Dr Surjit Ghosh along with other IIT Jodhpur professors Dr Samya Sen, Ramkamal Samat, Dr Moumita Jash, Satyajit Ghosh, Rajshekhar Roy, Nabanita Mukherjee, Surojit Ghosh and Dr Jayita Sarkar has been published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. This work was initially patented in India by e-filed.
Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of India and Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) fund of IIT Jodhpur have funded the research.