Survival of antimicrobial peptide resistant Staphylococcus aureus in mealworm beetles (Tenebrio molitor) with manipulated AMPexpression

Jens Rolff & Baydaa El Shazely
Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) are essential immune effectors of multicellular organisms. Bacteria can evolve resistance to AMPs. Surprisingly, when used to challenge the insect Tenebrio molitor, Staphylococcus aureus resistant to an abundant beetle AMP (tenecin 1) and also pleiotropically to phagocytosis did not increase host mortality or bacterial load compared to infections with wild-type S. aureus. A possible explanation is that antimicrobial resistance is costly due to collaterally increased sensitivity of AMP-resistant strains to other immune...
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