Farmaceutische, Biomedische en Diergeneeskundige Wetenschappen

Doctoraten 2024

Public defence Laurence Van Moll 03/06/2024 - The black soldier fly as a source of new antimicrobials - Department Pharmaceutical Sciences

Public defence Laurence Van Moll 03/06/2024 - The black soldier fly as a source of new antimicrobials - Department Pharmaceutical Sciences

Promotors:

Prof. dr. Paul Cos (promotor UA)

Prof. dr. Peter Delputte (promotor UA)

Prof. dr. Mik Van Der Borght (promotor KUL)

Prof. dr. Jeroen De Smet (co-promotor KUL)

Location defence:

Aula Q002, gebouw Q

Campus Drie Eiken

Abstract:

With the surge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), many drugs routinely used in clinical practice are failing to treat critical infectious diseases. Tackling this AMR emergency requires a multifaceted approach, including the discovery and development of new antimicrobial agents that are active against drug-resistant pathogens . Recently, there has been increased interest in natural niches such as insects. Insects are remarkably resilient to microbial infections and possess a wide range of antimicrobial defense tactics. Here, the black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia Illucens) has been explored as a source of new antimicrobials. A large collection of BSF antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) has been evaluated for its in vitro biological activity using a high-throughput screening platform. Two cecropins (HC1 and HC10) were selected due to their favorable activity profile, being potent action against Gram-negative pathogens and absence of early cytotoxicity indicators. Detailed characterization further elucidated LPS neutralization, membrane permeabilization, fast bactericidal activity, and divalent salt sensitivity. Other characteristics, such as biofilm eradication and synergistic action, were not noted. As these peptides show promising activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (with HC10 having confirmed in vivo activity), they can serve as starting points for future antipseudomonal therapeutics. However, some key points of the cecropins, such as their enzymatic stability and biological residency time, remain unaddressed to date. Lastly, this thesis also evaluated the antimicrobial activity of a collection of BSF symbiont strains. The abundant gut isolate Trichosporon asahii showed potent activity against Staphylococcus aureus, but the responsible compounds remain to be investigated.

Public defence Anneleen Robberechts 27/04/2024 - Implementation of type 3 medication review in Flanders: obstacles and opportunities - Department Pharmaceutical Sciences