Prof. Aniello ANASTASIO

 pictures Anastasio  Professor at University of Naples Federico II-Inspection of foods of animal origin
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Food borne diseases account for several million deaths worldwide each year. With the increasing emergence of multidrugresistant microorganisms, the demand for new and more effective antimicrobial agents has never been more urgent and several strategies have been so far used to develop novel antimicrobial peptide agents.
In this context two strategies were adopted.
A) Two innovative peptides including 13 and 15 amino acids, respectively, were projected starting from protein sequences which are known to bind or to be targeted to the outer mitochondrial membrane. One of these peptides was able to efficiently and selectively inhibit Listeria monocytogenes growth, an important food-borne pathogen.
B) Anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) belonging to the cathelicidin family are a large group of peptides ranging from 12 to 80 amino acid residues in length. LL-37 is the 37-residue human cathelicidin showing a broad-spectrum anti-microbial activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including S. aureus . However, MRSA strains appear to be less sensitive to LL-37. Thus, we have developed two synthetic cathelicidin peptides from human and snake (Naja atra), respectively, and tested their anti-microbial activity against MRSA. Interestingly, it was demonstrated that one of them was effective in killing the tested strain.
These peptides could be proposed in food industry or in new pharmaceuticals research activities to increase the safety of very valuable food products.

Fisheries worldwide annual discards are estimated to be ca. 20 millions tons, which represent 25% of the catch and include processing waste and by products. In this context fish collagen accounts for no more than 1,5% of total collagen production but this percentage is growing, indicating that collagen production from alternative non mammalian species is attracting relevant interest because fish collagen is more resistant to physical and chemical damage and is more readily absorbed by human skin than mammalian collagen.
The specific objective of this line was the developing of novel processes for the production of added value products of commercial interest derived from catalytic treatment of waste from fisheries and fish industry by the means of thermophilic enzymes with different cataytc properties.
These new technology for the conversion of fish wastes in valuable products will allow to obtain cost-friendly bio-products reducing the environmental impact.