The role of cationic antimicrobial peptides in innate host defences

Trends Microbiol. 2000 Sep;8(9):402-10. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(00)01823-0.


Cationic antimicrobial peptides are found in all living species. A single animal can contain >24 different antimicrobial peptides, which fall into four structural classes. These peptides are produced in large quantities at sites of infection and/or inflammation and can have broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoan and antisepsis properties. In addition, they interact directly with host cells to modulate the inflammatory process and innate defences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cations / pharmacology
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cations
  • Peptides