Melioidosis is caused by the Gram-negative, intracellular bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. The epidemiology of the disease is unclear- it is limited to tropical regions, where monitoring can be sparse and further complicated by the multifaceted nature of the condition. The most common indication of acute melioidosis is pneumonia (51 %) that can progress to acute fulminant sepsis with multifocal infiltrates with high rates of mortality. Meliodosis has been estimated to cause 89 000 deaths annually with an estimated mortality rate of approximately 50 %. Due to ease of the dissemination of the pathogen, its ability to form biofilms, the high degree of antimicrobial resistance and paucity of effective treatments, controlling the infection is a major challenge. Our approach is to develop nanoparticles capable of effectively delivering antimicrobials to biofilms formed by Burkholderia species. Formulations of a proprietary lipidic delivery agent, CM2, have been tested against two species: B. cepacia UCB717 that has no capsule and B. thailandensis (that is used as a surrogate for B. pseudomallei), including strains with and without capsules both of which readily form biofilms. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to monitor the uptake of the nanoparticles and the MIC and MBEC of CM2 alone (and analogues), in combination with a panel of antimicrobials and a novel oligonucleotide antimicrobial, termed a Transcription Factor Decoy (TFD), were measured. The most efficacious combinations will be formulated for delivery by inhalation prior to testing in animal models.

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