Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Screening of animal venoms for antimicrobial compounds

Can animal venoms yield novel antimicrobial peptides?

2015 - 2019
Michael Richardson
NWO Top sectors NWO Top sectors

Prof. dr. Gilles van Wezel (IBL)

We plan to identify novel antibiotic peptides by screening animal venoms for antimicrobial activity.

There is concern among health professionals about the growing problem of resistance among pathogens to existing antibiotics. This project is aimed at screening of animal venoms, primarily snake and scorpion venoms, for antimicrobial activity, and moreover, at the characterisation of antimicrobial compounds found. For this purpose a recently developed at-line nanofractionation approach is used. At-line nanofractionation approach combines liquid chromatography (LC) separation, mass spectrometry (MS) detection and identification, and bioassays (e.g. bacterial growth assays) in one platform allowing for fast screening and identification of bioactive compounds in complex mixtures. The linking technology between the analytical and biological system is called at-line high-resolution nanofractionation, which implies post-column fractionation of LC eluent in seconds (e.g. 6s/well) resolution onto high density microtiter plates (e.g. 384-well plates) and subsequent freeze-drying of the nanofractions collected on a plate. Depending on the size of the bioactive compounds, the bottom-up and top-down proteomic approaches are employed for their identification.

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