Evaluating the feasibility of lantibiotics as an alternative therapy against bacterial infections in humans

(2011) Heel, Auke Johan van; Montalban-Lopez, Manuel; Kuipers, Oscar P.

Since the commercialization and ubiquitous use of antibiotics in the 20th century, there has been a steady increase in the number of reports on resistant bacteria. In recent years, this situation has become even more dramatic. The relatively slow development of new drugs, especially those with novel modes of action on target bacteria, is not paired with the rapid rate of resistance appearance. Lantibiotics form a group of antimicrobial peptides of bacterial origin with a dual mechanism of action not shared by other therapeutic compounds in use. They have a high potency to inhibit diverse (multidrug resistant) bacteria, combined with a low tendency to generate resistance. These properties make lantibiotics attractive candidates for clinical applications. This paper discusses some of the most recent results obtained in lantibiotic clinical application, paying special attention to the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties they display. The objective of this paper is to give insight into the actual clinical applicability of lantibiotics and to point to the unexplored aspects that should be addressed in future research. The authors feel that lantibiotics could increase the number of second line antibiotics for systemic use in the future; however, further research is still needed before this is possible.

Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology, 7 (6), 675-680