Biodegradable peptide polymers as alternatives to antibiotics used in aquaculture†
The pressure of antimicrobial resistance has forced many countries to reduce or even prohibit the use of antibiotics in feed. Therefore, it is an urgent need to develop alternatives to antibiotics to control infectious diseases in feed and aquaculture. To address this long-lasting challenge, we prepared peptide polymers that display potent and broad-spectrum activity against common pathogenic bacteria in aquaculture, low hemolysis and low cytotoxicity, and do not induce bacteria to develop resistance or cross-resistance to antibiotics. The optimal peptide polymer demonstrates strong in vivo therapeutic potential in an adult zebrafish infection model. Moreover, the optimal peptide polymer is biodegradable by enzymes into single amino acids and dipeptides to totally lose its antibacterial activity and, therefore, will not cause antimicrobial selective pressure. Our study suggests that peptide polymers are promising alternatives to antibiotics in aquaculture and open new avenues to address the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Biomaterials Science Recent HOT Articles and Biomaterials Science 10th Anniversary Collection