Peptide IDR-1018: Modulating the Immune System and Targeting Bacterial Biofilms to Treat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections

J Pept Sci. 2015 May;21(5):323-9. doi: 10.1002/psc.2708. Epub 2014 Oct 31.


Host defense (antimicrobial) peptides, produced by all complex organisms, typically contain an abundance of positively charged and hydrophobic amino acid residues. A small synthetic peptide termed innate defense regulator (IDR-)1018 was derived by substantial modification of the bovine neutrophil host defense peptide bactenecin. Here, we review its intriguing properties that include anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and anti-biofilm activities. It was initially developed as an immune modulator with an ability to selectively enhance chemokine production and polarize cellular differentiation while suppressing/balancing the pro-inflammatory response. In this regard, it has demonstrated in vivo activity in murine models including enhancement of wound healing and an ability to protect against Staphylococcus aureus, multidrug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, herpes virus, and inflammatory disorders, including cerebral malaria and neuronal damage in a pre-term birth model. More recently, IDR-1018 was shown, in a broad-spectrum fashion, to selectively target bacterial biofilms, which are adaptively resistant to many antibiotics and represent the most common growth state of bacteria in human infections. Furthermore, IDR-1018 demonstrated synergy with conventional antibiotics to both prevent biofilm formation and treat pre-existing biofilms. These data are consistent with a strong potential as an adjunctive therapy against antibiotic-resistant infections.

Keywords: anti-biofilm; anti-infective; immunomodulatory; peptide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Cattle
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • innate defense regulating peptide 1018