Rapid clearance of bacteria and their toxins: Development of therapeutic proteins
The emergence of pathogens and toxins with resistance against conventional drugs, vaccines, and host defense peptides and proteins warrants novel countermeasures that can efficiently capture and rapidly clear them. This article examines the utility of chimeric proteins with capture and clearance domains as a novel countermeasure against pathogens and their toxins. The capture and clearance domains are chosen from the large repertoire of host defense peptides and proteins. Although individual capture and clearance domains are rendered ineffective by pathogenic resistance mechanisms, chimeric scaffolds can be designed to retain their antimicrobial activity, even in the face of pathogenic resistance. Here, initial studies on the design of chimeric proteins targeted against (1) intact bacteria such as Xylella fastidiosa (plant pathogens), Salmonella spp. (food-borne pathogens), and Stapbylococcus aureus (blood-borne pathogens); and (2) lethal toxins from Bacillus anthracis are described.