Human hybrid antimicrobial peptides for ocular surface infection: from conceptualisation to translation

Research details

  • Type of funding: Fight for Sight/ John Lee, Royal College of Ophthalmologists Primer Fellowship Awards
  • Grant Holder: Dr Darren Shu Jeng Ting
  • Institute: University of Nottingham
  • Region: East Midlands
  • Start date: August 2018
  • End Date: August 2019
  • Priority: Treatment
  • Eye Category: Corneal & external


Damage to the cornea can lead to permanent scarring with subsequent visual impairment or blindness. Corneal blindness represents the 4th leading cause of blindness (5.1%) globally. It affects approximately 2 million people worldwide, with corneal infection being the main culprit.

Affected patients are usually debilitated by pain and visual impairment and often require long-term hospital admissions for intensive antibiotic treatment. However, due to antibiotic resistance, there is a growing concern on the declining antibiotic efficacy.

Recently, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have shown promise as potential therapeutic agents due to their unique antimicrobial ability against a wide range of infective organisms.

Dr Darren Shu Jeng Ting aims to create and develop novel human-derived hybrid AMPs for a range of ocular surface infections. Different combinations of human-derived hybrid peptides will be designed and tested for antimicrobial efficacy and toxicity to host tissue.

Developing a new class of efficacious and broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent could potentially improve the management and outcome of various types of ocular surface infection, including bacterial, fungal, viral and acanthamoeba infection.