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Abstract

Bacterial antibiotic resistance is widely regarded to be one of the most pressing threats facing humanity. Finding new antibiotics is a vital research area and can now be supported by a vast reservoir of readily available ‘omic data on the back of the explosion of low cost sequencing technologies. Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs): endogenous peptides that provide a fast and effective means of defence against pathogens as part of the innate immune response. The detection of AMPs in metagenomic data is a tantalising low-hanging fruit for computational biologists. Large reservoirs of existing sequences exist and are well annotated and understood. Post-computational wet-lab work is relatively cheap with spot synthesis of peptides cheaply available from a wide array of third party companies. A well organised screening program can screen 100 s of prospects a day against model bacterial organisms to test for activity and is one of the few areas of biological science that can scale to meet the data output from computational prediction toolkits. AMPLY, an in-house tool designed at Aberystwyth University, supported by Life Science Wales and working in collaboration with Tika Diagnostics at St. George’s Hospital (London) and Queen’s University (Belfast) is part of a next wave of computational drug discovery platforms and is already uncovering a treasure trove of novel AMPs in diverse microbial environments. However, AMPLY’s abilities extend beyond the analysis of ‘omic data alone and its predictive modelling has extracted a therapeutically viable novel AMP built from a string of ancient Welsh poetry.

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/content/journal/acmi/10.1099/acmi.ac2019.po0559
2019-04-08
2019-10-13
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