Mannheimia haemolytica-induced bovine respiratory disease causes loss of millions of dollars to Canadian cattle industry. Current antimicrobials are proving to be ineffective and leave residues in meat. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) may be effective against M. haemolytica while minimizing the risk of drug residues. Cationic AMPs can kill bacteria through interactions with the anionic bacterial membrane. Human β-Defensin 3 (HBD3) and microcin J25 (MccJ25) are AMPs with potent activity against many Gram-negative bacteria. We tested the microbicidal activity of wild-type HBD3, three HBD3 peptide analogues (28 amino acid, 20AA, and 10AA) derived from the sequence of natural HBD3, and MccJ25 in vitro against M. haemolytica. Three C-terminal analogues of HBD3 with all cysteines replaced with valines were manually synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis. Since AMPs can act as chemoattractant we tested the chemotactic effect of HBD3, 28AA, 20AA, and 10AA peptides on bovine neutrophils in Boyden chamber. Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) assay showed that M. haemolytica was intermediately sensitive to HBD3, 28AA and 20AA analogues with an MBC of 50 µg/mL. The 10AA analogue had MBC 6.3 µg/mL which is likely a result of lower final inoculum size. MccJ25 didn’t have significant bactericidal effect below an MBC < 100 µg/mL. Bovine neutrophils showed chemotaxis towards HBD3 and 20AA peptides (P < 0.05) but not towards 28AA analogue. Co-incubation of neutrophils with any of the peptides did not affect their chemotaxis towards N-formyl-l-methionyl-l-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP). The data show that these peptides are effective against M. haemolytica and are chemotactic for neutrophils in vitro.
Dhingra H, Kaur K, Singh B. Engineering and characterization of human β-defensin-3 and its analogues and microcin J25 peptides against Mannheimia haemolytica and bovine neutrophils. Vet Res. 2021;52(1):83. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13567-021-00956-4
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