1887

Abstract

With antimicrobial resistance creating a major public health crisis, the designing of novel antimicrobial compounds that effectively combat bacterial infection is becoming increasingly critical. Interdisciplinary approaches integrate the best features of whole-cell phenotypic evaluation to validate novel therapeutic targets and discover new leads to combat antimicrobial resistance. In this project, whole-cell phenotypic evaluation such as testing inhibitors on bacterial growth, viability, efflux pump, biofilm formation and their interaction with other drugs were performed on a panel of Gram-positive, Gram-negative and acid-fast group of bacterial species. This enabled additional antimicrobial activities of compounds belonging to the flavonoid family including ketones, chalcones and stilbenes, to be identified. Flavonoids have received renewed attention in literature over the past decade, and a variety of beneficial effects of these compounds have been illuminated, including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour as well as anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. However, their mechanisms of action are yet to be identified. In this paper, we found that the compounds belonging to the flavonoid family exerted a range of anti-infective properties being identified as novel efflux pump inhibitors, whilst offering the opportunity to be used in combination therapy. The compound 2-phenylacetophenone displayed broad-spectrum efflux pump inhibition activity, whilst trans-chalcone, displayed potent activity against Gram-negative and mycobacterial efflux pumps causing inhibition higher than known potent efflux pump inhibitors, verapamil and chlorpromazine. Drug-drug interaction studies also highlighted that 2-phenylacetophenone not only has the potential to work additively with known antibacterial agents that affect the cell-wall and DNA replication but also trans-chalcone has the potential to work synergistically with anti-tubercular agents. Overall, this paper shows how whole-cell phenotypic analysis allows for the discovery of new antimicrobial agents and their consequent mode of action whilst offering the opportunity for compounds to be repurposed, in order to contribute in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Sanjib Bhakta , GCRF , (Award 105123-21)
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/content/journal/acmi/10.1099/acmi.0.000105
2020-02-18
2020-06-04
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