Although aquaculture is a growing productive sector, economic losses because of infectious diseases and public health concern of what antibiotic resistance represents have become factors that limit its development. Thus, the control of infectious diseases through antibacterial alternatives is a field of intense research. In this sense, antimicrobial proteins and peptides might represent a safe and effective alternative because their site of action is on microbial components; they are biodegradable; their diversity in terms of mechanisms of action is broad; and some of them can be highly specific. Because this antibacterial alternative is still in research, this review provides a critical analysis of the challenges and opportunities of protein drugs for the treatment of bacterial diseases in the field of aquaculture health; contextualizes the different types of antibacterial protein and peptides, their mechanisms of action, potential sources, as well as the state of the art on assessment of antibacterial proteins and peptides in bioassays with aquatic organisms; and discusses the challenges proteinaceous drugs face regarding their stability for oral delivery and the perspectives for their administration in aquaculture.
- aquaculture health management
- environmentally friendly alternatives
- in vivo evaluations
- protein stability
- proteinaceous drugs