Investigating Antimicrobial Alternative for BRD

Project Title

Antimicrobial Peptides that specifically inhibit the BRD pathogen Mannheimia haemolytica


Antonio Ruzzini

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in April, 2023 POC.16.21


Antibiotic resistance is rising but no new antibiotic drugs are coming to market. That will make it harder to treat BRD. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a potential antibiotic alternatives. AMPs are naturally occurring proteins with antimicrobial activities. Both microbes and animals produce a variety of AMPs, and they can be “customized” to increase their activity for specific BRD-causing pathogens.


  • To generate a novel Mannheimia-specific AMP

What they will do

This team has discovered a broad set of microbial AMPs that can kill M. hemolytica, one of the key BRD pathogens. They will focus on one specific AMP and try various customizations to make it more effective and selective against M. hemolytica in the lab. They will also test whether these different versions of the AMP harm cattle cells. The most promising versions will be tested against a panel of drug resistant M. hemolytica obtained from feedlots.


This project will not produce an antibiotic alternative that can be used on farm, but it will tell us if pursuing AMPs as an alternative to antimicrobials is a promising area of research.