Bacterial and viral infections are still a major threat of human health. The increasing resistance of bacterial isolates to common antibiotics and the lack of new compounds reaching the clinic leading to serious problems in health care. The variability of different virus families with individual entry pathways and replication strategies make the development of suitable therapeutics with cross-species activity complicated. Furthermore, the infections often cause each other, so that an initial virus infection is frequently accompanied by a bacterial ‘superinfection’ with severe consequences.
We developed a new class of compounds based on polypeptides, which exhibit broadspectrum antiviral activity with simultaneous inhibition of important bacterial pathogenicity factors such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS, endotoxin) and lipoproteins. Here, we summarise recent results and discuss them in the context of the progress made in the field of polypeptides as novel anti-infective therapeutic agents.
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides, bacterial and viral infection, classical swine fever, clinical trials, endotoxins, heparan sulfate, hepatitis B, HIV, inflammation, isothermal titration calorimetry, lipopolysaccharides, lipoproteins, MRSA, polypeptides, sepsis, shock, small-angle X-ray scattering, superinfection, tumornecrosis- factor-alpha.