Impact of Host Defense Peptides on Chronic Wounds and Infections

  • Evan F. Haney
  • Daniel Pletzer
  • Robert E. W. HancockEmail author
Part of the Recent Clinical Techniques, Results, and Research in Wounds book series (RCTRRW, volume 6)


Chronic wounds are a growing clinical concern worldwide with only a few treatment options available to address the fundamental causes of non-healing wounds. There is increasing evidence that the colonization of chronic wounds by bacteria growing within biofilms complicates treatment with conventional antibiotics and prevents proper wound healing. Compounding the issue is a relative lack of appropriate animal models that accurately capture the etiology and clinical features of chronic wounds. In the present work, we outline the role of natural host defense peptides (HDPs) on the wound healing process and highlight the potential of synthetic HDP derivatives as novel therapeutic molecules to treat long-lasting wounds. In particular, we will summarize many of the animal models available to study chronic wound infections and discuss recent results that describe the efficacy of synthetic HDPs and their ability to promote wound closure in vivo. We propose that novel synthetic HDPs that are optimized for both anti-biofilm and wound healing properties could 1 day provide additional support to help treat chronic wounds and improve patient welfare.



Our peptide research has been generously supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (funding reference number MOP-123477) and by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R33AI098701. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. EFH and REWH are coinventors of patents for synthetic host defense peptides that have been assigned to their employer, the University of British Columbia, and licensed to ABT Innovations Inc. DP received a Feodor Lynen postdoctoral fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and REWH holds a Canada Research Chair in Health and Genomics and a UBC Killam Professorship.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evan F. Haney
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel Pletzer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert E. W. Hancock
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.2259 Lower Mall Research StationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyCentre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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