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The main research focus of the BPNR Centre primarily concentrates on the identification and purification of several antimicrobial peptides (AMP). A large culture of bacteria has been assimilated from one of the research projects previously carried out within our group (Strand 3). Screening of the culture collection has identified several AMP producing strains of bacteria which have been shown to have antimicrobial activity against several organisms. These include the food poisoning organism Listeria monocytogenes and the pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus strain MRSA. Work over the past year has primarily focused on the purification and characterisation of selected antimicrobial peptides. Part of this characterisation work was carried out in Tallaght hospital which included testing selected peptides for activity against clinical bacterial isolates including MRSA.Mechanism of action and cytotoxicity studies have also been carried out on a range of peptides in order to establish the effect of the peptides on selected human cell lines. In addition various chemical derivatives of nisin, an FDA approved antimicrobial peptide have been synthesized and partially characterised.

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