The inability of traditional risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and smoking to explain the incidence of atherosclerosis (AT) in about 50% of the cases prompted a search for additional putative risk factors involved in the development of the disease. Infectious agents have long been suspected to initiate/contribute to the process of AT. It has also been suggested that inflammation, either related to infectious agents or independent from infection, may mediate the atherogenic process [1, 2].
Even in asymptomatic cases of Chlamydia trachomatis infection, the aim of the antibiotic strategy is eradication of the pathogen so as to avoid the severe late sequelae, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and tubal infertility. Although first-line antimicrobial agents have been demonstrated to be predominantly successful in the treatment of C. trachomatis infection, treatment failures have been observed in some cases. Rich source of antimicrobial peptides was recently discovered in Medicago species, which act in plants as differentiation factors of the endosymbiotic bacterium partner. Several of these symbiotic plant peptides have proved to be potent killers of various bacteria in vitro. We show here that 7 of 11 peptides tested exhibited antimicrobial activity against C. trachomatis D, and that the killing activity of these peptides is most likely due to their interaction with specific bacterial targets.