Induced expression of the antimicrobial peptide melittin inhibits experimental infection by Mycoplasma gallisepticum in chickens

Vassili N. Lazarev, Laszlo Stipkovits, Judit Biro, Dora Miklodi, Marina M. Shkarupeta, Galina A. Titova, Tatiana A. Akopian, Vadim M. Govorun

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The in vivo action of the antimicrobial peptide melittin, expressed from a recombinant plasmid vector, on chickens experimentally infected with Mycoplasma gallisepticum was studied. The plasmid vector pBI/mel2/rtTA includes the melittin gene under the control of an inducible tetracycline-dependent human cytomegalovirus promoter and the gene coding for the trans-activation protein rtTA. Aerosol administration of the vector, followed by infecting the chickens with M. gallisepticum 1226, is shown to inhibit development of infection. The inhibitory action was confirmed by a complex of clinical, pathomorphological, histological and serological studies, and also by comparing the M. gallisepticum reisolation frequency from the respiratory tract and internal organs. The data suggest that plasmid vectors expressing genes of antimicrobial peptides can be considered as potential agents for the prevention and treatment of mycoplasma infections in poultry farming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-541
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2004



  • Melittin
  • Mycoplasma gallisepticum
  • Recombinant plasmid vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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