Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms exhibit increased antimicrobial resistance compared with planktonic isolates and are implicated in the pathogenesis of both acute and chronic lung infections. Whilst antibiotic choices for both infections are based on planktonic antibiotic susceptibility results, differences in biofilm-forming ability between the two diseases have not previously been explored. The aim of this study was to compare differences in biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance of P. aeruginosa isolated from intubated patients and from patients with chronic pulmonary disease associated with cystic fibrosis (CF). The temporal evolution of antibiotic resistance in clonal P. aeruginosa strains isolated from CF patients during periods of chronic infection and acute pulmonary exacerbation was also evaluated. Biofilm formation and biofilm antibiotic susceptibilities were determined using a modified microtitre plate assay and were compared with antibiotic susceptibility results obtained using traditional planktonic culture. Clonality was confirmed using random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) analysis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates collected from intubated patients produced substantially more biofilms compared with CF isolates. There was considerable heterogeneity in biofilm-forming ability among the CF isolates and this was unrelated to pulmonary status. Biofilm antibiotic resistance developed rapidly among clonal CF isolates over time, whilst traditional antibiotic resistance determined using planktonic cultures remained stable. There was a significant positive correlation between imipenem/cilastatin and ceftazidime resistance and biofilm-forming ability. The variability in biofilm-forming ability in P. aeruginosa and the rapid evolution of biofilm resistance may require consideration when choosing antibiotic therapy for newly intubated patients and CF patients.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Bacterial biofilm; Antimicrobial resistance; Mechanical ventilation; Cystic fibrosis
Transduction of salivary glands with antimicrobial peptide genes has great potential for oral infection control. Our ultimate goal is to introduce antimicrobial peptide genes into salivary glands that secrete these peptides into saliva to control bacterial/fungal infection in the oral cavity. However, an animal study model to test this potential has not been established. Therefore, we determined to test (i) whether the potent antimicrobial peptide human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2) can be overexpressed in saliva after transduction of salivary glands and (ii) whether oral fungal infection can be developed in a NOD/SCID murine model. Lentiviral vector SIN18cPPTRhMLV bearing hBD-2 cDNA was introduced into SCID mouse submandibular glands via cannulation. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed to detect hBD-2 expression in glands or in saliva. Candida albicans 613p was inoculated orally into SCID mice to establish oral candidiasis. Whilst expression of hBD-2 was detected in mouse salivary glands by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry 1 day or 1 week following delivery of lentivirus, hBD-2 was not detected in saliva. There was recoverable C. albicans from the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract 4 days to 4 weeks after infection, but there was no establishment of observable oral candidiasis in SCID mice under a stereomicroscope. Our data indicate that lentiviral vectors transduce mouse salivary glands, but not at a sufficient level to allow hBD-2 detection in saliva. Other vectors for gene transduction and additional treatment of SCID mice to establish oral candidiasis are needed in order to utilise mouse salivary glands to test antimicrobial gene therapy.
hBD-2; Lentiviral vectors; Mouse salivary glands; Candida albicans; SCID mice
In a project to characterise new antibacterial chemotypes from plants, hyperenone A and hypercalin B were isolated from the hexane and chloroform extracts of the aerial parts of Hypericum acmosepalum. The structures of both compounds were characterised by extensive one- and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and were confirmed by mass spectrometry. Hyperenone A and hypercalin B exhibited antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, with minimum inhibition concentration ranges of 2–128 mg/L and 0.5–128 mg/L, respectively. Hyperenone A also showed growth-inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and Mycobacterium bovis BCG at 75 mg/L and 100 mg/L. Neither hyperenone A nor hypercalin B inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli and both were non-toxic to cultured mammalian macrophage cells. Both compounds were tested for their ability to inhibit the ATP-dependent MurE ligase of M. tuberculosis, a crucial enzyme in the cytoplasmic steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Hyperenone A inhibited MurE selectively, whereas hypercalin B did not have any effect on enzyme activity.
Hypericum acmosepalum; Hyperenone A; Hypercalin B; Staphylococcus aureus; Tuberculosis; Peptidoglycan; MurE ligase
Coxiella burnetii is the bacterial agent of Q fever in humans. Acute Q fever generally manifests as a flu-like illness and is typically self-resolving. In contrast, chronic Q fever usually presents with endocarditis and is often life-threatening without appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Unfortunately, available options for the successful treatment of chronic Q fever are both limited and protracted (>18 months). Pentamidine, an RNA splice inhibitor used to treat fungal and protozoal infections, was shown to reduce intracellular growth of Coxiella by ca. 73% at a concentration of 1 μM (ca. 0.6 μg/mL) compared with untreated controls, with no detectable toxic effects on host cells. Bacterial targets of pentamidine include Cbu.L1917 and Cbu.L1951, two group I introns that disrupt the 23S rRNA gene of Coxiella, as demonstrated by the drug's ability to inhibit intron RNA splicing in vitro. Since both introns are highly conserved among all eight genotypes of the pathogen, pentamidine is predicted to be efficacious against numerous strains of C. burnetii. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing antibacterial activity for this antifungal/antiprotozoal agent.
Coxiella; Pentamidine; Group I intron; RNA splicing
Antimicrobial peptides coupled to a ligand, receptor or antibody for a specific pathogenic bacteria could be used to develop narrow-spectrum pharmaceuticals with ‘targeted’ antimicrobial activity void of adverse reactions often associated with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. To assess the feasibility of this approach, in this study sheep myeloid antimicrobial peptide (SMAP) 28 was linked to affinity- and protein G-purified rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies specific to the outer surface of Porphyromonas gingivalis strain 381. The selective activity of the P. gingivalis IgG–SMAP28 conjugate was then assessed by adding it to an artificially generated microbial community containing P. gingivalis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Peptostreptococcus micros. The specificity of the P. gingivalis IgG–SMAP28 conjugate in this mixed culture was concentration-dependent. The conjugate at 50 μg protein/mL lacked specificity and killed P. gingivalis, A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. micros. The conjugate at 20 μg protein/mL was more specific and killed P. gingivalis. This is an initial step to develop a selective antimicrobial agent that can eliminate a specific periodontal pathogen, such as P. gingivalis, from patients with periodontal disease without harming the normal commensal flora.
Porphyromonas gingivalis; Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans; Peptostreptococcus micros; Cathelicidins; Targeted antimicrobial activity; SMAP28
Although there are over 90 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, antimicrobial resistance is predominantly found in a limited number of serotypes/serogroups, namely 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23. There is no compelling mechanism to account for this restriction. We aimed to determine whether serotypes commonly associated with drug resistance have higher transformation frequencies than those that are susceptible to antimicrobial agents. An in vitro investigation of the genetic transformation frequency of drug-resistant serotypes compared with that of susceptible serotypes under the influence of synthetic competence-stimulating peptides was performed. The transforming DNA was genomic DNA carrying a Tn916-like transposon containing the mefE gene that confers resistance to erythromycin. It was observed that serotypes 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23, which are highly associated with drug resistance, do not exhibit a higher degree of transformation efficiency than other serotypes. These findings suggest that the association of serotype with drug resistance is likely due to prolonged exposure to transforming DNA resulting from longer nasopharyngeal carriage and to a greater selective pressure from antimicrobials, particularly in children. This is the first study to compare the transformation frequencies of pneumococcal clinical isolates using genomic DNA that carries the composite Tn916-like element.
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Drug-resistant serotypes/serogroups; Transformation frequency; Tn916 transposon; mefE gene
Vaginal microbicides with activity towards organisms that cause sexually transmitted infections have been proposed as a strategy to reduce transmission. Small-molecule inhibitors of Chlamydia trachomatis serovar D belonging to the class of salicylidene acylhydrazides (INPs) have been shown to work through a mechanism that involves iron restriction. Expanding on this work, ten INPs were tested against a lymphogranuloma venereum strain of C. trachomatis serovar L2, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and hydrogen peroxide-producing Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii. Seven INPs had minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimal bactericidal concentrations of <50 µM towards C. trachomatis L2. Three INPs had an MIC <12.5 µM against N. gonorrhoeae. Inhibition by was reversed by iron, holo-transferrin and holo-lactoferrin but not by the iron-poor forms of these compounds. The compounds exhibited no bactericidal activity toward Lactobacillus. The INPs were not cytotoxic to HeLa 229 cells. When INP 0341 was tested in a mouse model of a Chlamydia vaginal infection there was a significant reduction in the number of mice shedding C. trachomatis up to 4 days after infection (P < 0.01). In summary, select INPs are promising vaginal microbicide candidates as they inhibit the growth of two common sexually transmitted organisms in vitro, are active in a mouse model against C. trachomatis, are not cytotoxic and do not inhibit organisms that compose the normal vaginal flora.
Vaginal microbicide; Sexually transmitted infections; Chlamydia trachomatis; LGV; Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Burkholderia pseudomallei is an intrinsically antibiotic-resistant Category B priority pathogen and the aetiological agent of melioidosis. Treatment of B. pseudomallei infection is biphasic and lengthy in order to combat the acute and chronic phases of the disease. Acute-phase treatment preferably involves an intravenous cephalosporin (ceftazidime) or a carbapenem (imipenem or meropenem). In this study, the anti-B. pseudomallei efficacy of a new monosulfactam, BAL30072, was tested against laboratory strains 1026b and 1710b and several isogenic mutant derivatives as well as a collection of clinical and environmental B. pseudomallei strains from Thailand. More than 93% of the isolates had minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in the range 0.004–0.016 μg/mL. For the laboratory strain 1026b, the MIC of BAL30072 was 0.008 μg/mL, comparable with the MICs of 1.5 μg/mL for ceftazidime, 0.5 μg/mL for imipenem and 1 μg/mL for meropenem. Time–kill curves revealed that BAL30072 was rapidly bactericidal, killing >99% of bacteria in 2 h. BAL30072 activity was not significantly affected by efflux, it was only a marginal substrate of PenA β-lactamase, and activity was independent of malleobactin production and transport and the ability to transport pyochelin. In summary, BAL30072 has superior in vitro activity against B. pseudomallei compared with ceftazidime, meropenem or imipenem and it is rapidly bactericidal.
Burkholderia pseudomallei; Melioidosis; Therapy; Monosulfactam; Efflux; Siderophore
The 5-nitroimidazole (NI) compound C17, with a side chain carrying a remote phenyl group in the 2-position of the imidazole ring, is at least 14-fold more active against the gut protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia than the 5-NI drug metronidazole (MTR), with a side chain in the 1-position of the imidazole ring, which is the primary drug for the treatment of giardiasis. Over 10 months, lines resistant to C17 were induced in vitro and were at least 12-fold more resistant to C17 than the parent strains. However, these lines had ID90 values (concentration of drug at which 10% of control parasite ATP levels are detected) for MTR of >200 μM, whilst lines induced to be highly resistant to MTR in vitro have maximum ID90 values around 100 μM (MTR-susceptible isolates typically have an ID90 of 5–12.8 μM). The mechanism of MTR activation in Giardia apparently involves reduction to toxic radicals by the activity of pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) and the electron acceptor ferredoxin. MTR-resistant Giardia have decreased PFOR activity, which is consistent with decreased activation of MTR in these lines, but C17-resistant lines have normal levels of PFOR. Therefore, an alternative mechanism of resistance in Giardia must account for these super-MTR-resistant cells.
Pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase; Tinidazole; Ronidazole; 5-Nitroimidazole; Cross-resistance
Tigecycline resistance has been attributed to ramA overexpression and subsequent acrA upregulation. The ramA locus, originally identified in Klebsiella pneumoniae, has homologues in Enterobacter and Salmonella spp. In this study, we identify in silico that the ramR binding site is also present in Citrobacter spp. and that Enterobacter, Citrobacter and Klebsiella spp. share key regulatory elements in the control of the romA–ramA locus. RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) mapping indicated that there are two promoters from which romA–ramA expression can be regulated in K. pneumoniae. Correspondingly, electrophoretic binding studies clearly showed that purified RamA and RamR proteins bind to both of these promoters. Hence, there appear to be two RamR binding sites within the Klebsiella romA–ramA locus. Like MarA, RamA binds the promoter region, implying that it might be subject to autoregulation. We have identified changes within ramR in geographically distinct clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae. Intriguingly, levels of romA and ramA expression were not uniformly affected by changes within the ramR gene, thereby supporting the dual promoter finding. Furthermore, a subset of strains sustained no changes within the ramR gene but which still overexpressed the romA–ramA genes, strongly suggesting that a secondary regulator may control ramA expression.
Klebsiella pneumoniae; romA; ramA; ramR; acrA; Tigecycline
To gain insights into the cellular processes required for intracellular bacterial pathogenesis, we previously developed a generalisable screening approach to identify small molecule compounds that alter Listeria monocytogenes infection. In this report, a small molecule library enriched for compounds affecting neurological functions was screened and 68 compounds that disrupted L. monocytogenes infection of macrophages were identified. Many of these compounds were known antimicrobial agents, however 26 compounds were novel inhibitors of intracellular infection. Two of the compounds chosen for further study, the antipsychotic drug thioridazine and the calcium channel blocker bepridil, exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of vacuolar escape and intracellular replication of L. monocytogenes during infection of murine macrophages. These results suggest that clinically approved neurological drugs may provide a novel source of anti-infective agents that are suitable for development as therapeutics against intracellular bacterial infections.
Listeria monocytogenes; Small molecule screen; Intracellular infection; Bepridil; Neurological compounds; Thioridazine
Trichomoniasis, caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, is usually treated with metronidazole, however resistance is on the rise. In this study, N-chlorotaurine (NCT), a new endogenous mild active chlorine compound for topical use, killed T. vaginalis in vitro within 15 min of treatment at a concentration of 55 mM (1%), which is well tolerated by human tissue. The activity of NCT was further enhanced by addition of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl). A combination of 5.5 mM (0.1%) NCT plus 19 mM (0.1%) NH4Cl killed 100% of trichomonads within 5 min.
Trichomonas vaginalis; Susceptible; N-Chlorotaurine; Oxidant; In vitro
This study examined the direct interaction of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) with Aspergillus species. Accumulation of 5-HT in aspergilli was investigated by immunofluorescence staining and laser confocal scanning microscopy. The influence of 5-HT on fungal ergosterol content, cell membrane integrity, fungal growth and hyphal elongation was determined. 5-HT was localised in the cytoplasm of Aspergillus spp., as 5-HT fluorescent signals appeared after 30 min at 4°C and in the presence of inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation. 5-HT treatment of Aspergillus spp. significantly affected ergosterol synthesis, fungal cell membrane integrity and hyphal elongation (P < 0.05). 5-HT treatment for 4 h resulted in a lag of re-growth (post-antifungal effect). In conclusion, our findings suggest that 5-HT affects hyphal growth and diminishes fungal cell membrane integrity.
Serotonin; Aspergillus spp.; Ergosterol; Platelets
In this study we investigated whether the direct interaction between Candida albicans CBS 5982 and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) alters candidial virulence. Hyphae elongation, phospholipase activity and the production of secreted aspartyl proteinases (Saps) following 5-HT treatment were investigated. 5-HT treatment of C. albicans significantly (P < 0.05) affected hyphal extension, phospholipase activity and the production of Saps at concentrations of 118–0.46 mM. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the interaction between 5-HT and C. albicans may diminish the virulence properties of this fungal pathogen.
Candida albicans; 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT); Virulence factor; Antifungal activity
Excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospitals has led to the emergence of highly resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. To reduce the selection pressure for resistance, it is important to determine the antibiotic susceptibility pattern of bacteria so that hospital patients can be treated with more narrow-spectrum and target-specific antibiotics. This study describes the development of a technique for detecting point muations in the fluoroquinolone resistance-determining region of the gyrA and parC genes as well as the efflux regulatory genes mexR, mexZ and mexOZ that are associated with fluoroquinolone and aminoglycoside resistance. The assay is based on a short DNA sequencing method using multiplex-fast polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Pyrosequencing™ for amplification and sequencing of the selected genes. Fifty-nine clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa were examined for mutations in the abovementioned genes. Mutations related to antibiotic resistance were detected in codons 83 and 87 of gyrA and codon 126 of the mexR regulatory gene. Results of this study suggest Pyrosequencing™ as a substitute for traditional methods as it provides a rapid and reliable technique for determinating the antibiotic resistance pattern of a given bacterial strain in <1 h.
Pyrosequencing; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Antibiotic resistance
A DNA microarray was developed to detect plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance (AR) and virulence factor (VF) genes in clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae and non-Enterobacteriaceae. The array was validated with the following bacterial species: Escherichiacoli (n = 17); Klebsiellapneumoniae (n = 3); Enterobacter spp. (n = 6); Acinetobacter genospecies 3 (n = 1); Acinetobacterbaumannii (n = 1); Pseudomonasaeruginosa (n = 2); and Stenotrophomonasmaltophilia (n = 2). The AR gene profiles of these isolates were identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The DNA microarray consisted of 155 and 133 AR and VF gene probes, respectively. Results were compared with the commercially available Identibac AMR-ve Array Tube. Hybridisation results indicated that there was excellent correlation between PCR and array results for AR and VF genes. Genes conferring resistance to each antibiotic class were identified by the DNA array. Unusual resistance genes were also identified, such as blaSHV-5 in a blaOXA-23-positive carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii. The phylogenetic group of each E. coli isolate was verified by the array. These data demonstrate that it is possible to screen simultaneously for all important classes of mobile AR and VF genes in Enterobacteriaceae and non-Enterobacteriaceae whilst also assigning a correct phylogenetic group to E. coli isolates. Therefore, it is feasible to test clinical Gram-negative bacteria for all known AR genes and to provide important information regarding pathogenicity simultaneously.
β-Lactamases; Quinolones; Virulence; Molecular detection
Numerous reports have indicated the important role of human normal flora in the prevention of microbial pathogenesis and disease. Evidence suggests that infections at mucosal surfaces result from the outgrowth of subpopulations or clusters within a microbial community and are not linked to one pathogenic organism alone. To preserve the protective normal flora while treating the majority of infective bacteria in the community, a tuneable therapeutic is necessary that can discriminate between benign bystanders and multiple pathogenic organisms. Here we describe the proof-of-principle for such a multitargeted antimicrobial: a multiple-headed specifically-targeted antimicrobial peptide (MH-STAMP). The completed MH-STAMP, M8(KH)-20, displays specific activity against targeted organisms in vitro (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus mutans) and can remove both species from a mixed planktonic culture with little impact against untargeted bacteria. These results demonstrate that a functional, dual-targeted molecule can be constructed from a wide-spectrum antimicrobial peptide precursor.
Antimicrobial peptide; Targeted therapeutic; Streptococcus mutans; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Peptide synthesis; Novel antibiotic; STAMP; Specifically-targeted antimicrobial peptide; MH-STAMP
Following an initial response to vancomycin therapy, a patient with meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia developed endocarditis, failed a second course of vancomycin and then failed daptomycin therapy. An increase in the vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentrations of four consecutive MRSA blood isolates from 2 μg/mL to 8 μg/mL was shown by Etest. Population analysis of four successive blood culture isolates recovered over the 10-week period showed that the MRSA strain became progressively less susceptible to both vancomycin and daptomycin. Retrospectively, the macro Etest method using teicoplanin indicated a decrease in vancomycin susceptibility in the second blood isolate. The patient improved after treatment with various courses of trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole, quinupristin/dalfopristin and linezolid. Early detection of vancomycin-heteroresistant S. aureus isolates, which appeared to have clinical significance in this case, continues to be a challenge for the clinical laboratory. Development of suitable practical methods for this should be given priority. Concurrent development of resistance to vancomycin and daptomycin, whilst rare, must be considered in a patient who is unresponsive to daptomycin following vancomycin therapy.
Staphylococci; Vancomycin; Teicoplanin; Heteroresistance
Helicobacter infection, one of the most common bacterial infections in man worldwide, is a type 1 carcinogen and the most important risk factor for gastric cancer. Helicobacter pylori bacterial factors, components of the host genetics and immune response, dietary cofactors and decreased acid secretion resulting in bacterial overgrowth are all considered important factors for induction of gastric cancer. Components found in green tea have been shown to inhibit bacterial growth, including the growth of Helicobacter spp. In this study, we assessed the bactericidal and/or bacteriostatic effect of green tea against Helicobacter felis and H. pylori in vitro and evaluated the effects of green tea on the development of Helicobacter-induced gastritis in an animal model. Our data clearly demonstrate profound growth effects of green tea against Helicobacter and, importantly, demonstrate that green tea consumption can prevent gastric mucosal inflammation if ingested prior to exposure to Helicobacter infection. Research in the area of natural food compounds and their effects on various disease states has gained increased acceptance in the past several years. Components within natural remedies such as green tea could be further used for prevention and treatment of Helicobacter-induced gastritis in humans.
Helicobacter felis; Helicobacter pylori; Gastric cancer; Green tea; Catechins; Diet
This study evaluated the pharmacodynamics of the lantibiotic MU1140 and the ability of selected organisms to develop resistance to this antibiotic. MU1140 demonstrated activity against all Gram-positive organisms tested, including oxacillin- and vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VREF). No activity was observed against Gram-negative bacteria or yeast. Time–kill studies revealed that MU1140 was rapidly bactericidal against Streptococcus pneumoniae and multidrug-resistant S. aureus, whilst it was bacteriostatic against VREF. In vitro resistance development to MU1140, tested by sequential subculturing in subinhibitory concentrations of MU1140, revealed a stable three-fold increase in the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for S. aureus and S. pneumoniae. Subsequent subculturing of the strains with elevated MICs in antibiotic-free media for 7 days did not result in a reduction of their MIC values for MU1140. Collectively, our findings illustrate the therapeutic potential of MU1140 for management of Gram-positive infections.
Lantibiotic; MU1140; Lanthionine; Pharmacodynamics; Antibiotic resistance; MRSA; VRE
Quinolone resistance is rapidly increasing in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and is posing a significant public health threat that requires constant surveillance. A rapid and reliable mutation detection assay has been developed. The assay is based on pre-programmed short DNA sequencing and is designed to detect point mutations in the gyrA gene that are highly related to ciprofloxacin resistance, i.e. in codons 91 and 95. By developing an assay based on pyrosequencing and exploiting the pre-programmed nucleotide dispensation capability of this technology, the sequence comprising the mutations will be analysed and promptly reveal whether the N. gonorrhoeae pathogen carries resistance to ciprofloxacin. A panel of 40 N. gonorrhoeae clinical isolates, of which 27 phenotypically displayed decreased susceptibility or resistance to ciprofloxacin, was used in the present study. All point mutations in the short stretch of the N. gonorrhoeae gyrA gene were easily discriminated, and the genotypic results obtained by pre-programmed sequencing were mainly in agreement with the phenotypically identified decreased susceptibility or resistance to ciprofloxacin. The new method used in the present study has the potential for rapid and reliable identification of known as well as previously unknown drug resistance mutations.
DNA sequencing; Ciprofloxacin resistance; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Pre-programmed DNA sequencing; Pyrosequencing technology
The aminoglycoside antibiotic kasugamycin (KSG) inhibits translation initiation and thus the growth of many bacteria. In this study, we tested the susceptibilities to KSG of 22 low-passage clinical isolates and 2 laboratory strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Although the range of KSG minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) was narrow (seven-fold), clinical isolates and laboratory strains fell into three distinct classes of KSG sensitivity, susceptible, somewhat sensitive and resistant, with MICs of 30, 60–100 and 200 μg/mL, respectively. Two genes have previously been shown to be involved in bacterial KSG resistance: rpsI, which encodes the 30S ribosomal subunit S9 protein; and ksgA, which encodes a predicted dimethyltransferase. Although sequencing of rpsI and ksgA from clinical isolates revealed polymorphisms, none correlated with the MICs of KSG. Ten spontaneous KSG-resistant (KSGR) mutants were isolated from laboratory strain FA1090 at a frequency of <4.4 × 10−6 resistant colony-forming units (CFU)/total CFU. All isolated KSGR variants had mutations in ksgA, whilst no mutations were observed in rpsI. ksgA mutations conferring KSG resistance included four point mutations, two in-frame and one out-of-frame deletions, one in-frame duplication and two frame-shift insertions. These data show a narrow range of susceptibilities for the clinical isolates and laboratory strains examined; moreover, the differences in MICs do not correlate with nucleotide polymorphisms in rpsI or ksgA. Additionally, spontaneous KSGR mutants arise by a variety of ksgA mutations.
Mutagenesis; Gonorrhoea; Antibiotic resistance
Leishmaniasis is a major health problem in many parts of the world, caused by various species of Leishmania. Amastigotes are the clinically relevant form of the parasite in the human host and reside in the parasitophorous vacuole within macrophages. Polymer–drug conjugates have been used for lysosomotropic drug delivery and have already shown potential in anticancer and antileishmanial chemotherapy. We synthesised N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide–amphotericin B (HPMA–AmB) copolymer conjugates in which the AmB was attached to the polymer through a degradable GlyPheLeuGly linker. Antileishmanial activity was assessed in vitro against intracellular amastigotes in host macrophages [murine peritoneal exudate macrophages (PEMs), murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) and differentiated THP-1 cells]. The most potent copolymers had 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of 0.03 μg/mL AmB equivalent against Leishmania donovani amastigotes in PEMs and BMMs and an EC50 of 0.57 μg/mL AmB equivalent against L. donovani in THP-1 cells. This activity was comparable with free AmB (EC50 = 0.03–0.07 μg/mL against L. donovani in PEMs and BMMs and 0.24–0.42 μg/mL against amastigotes in THP-1 cells) and Fungizone® (EC50 = 0.04–0.07 μg/mL against amastigotes in PEMs). Conjugates also showed potent in vivo activity with ca. 50% inhibition of parasite burden at 1 mg/kg body weight.
Leishmaniasis; Copolymers; Amphotericin B