Drug Discovery

From lowly fungus to promising therapeutic for drug resistant bacterial infections

Several drug leads isolated from our fungal library and that at Mycosynthetix are showing promising activity in vivo. One of these is a compound that was isolated from the beautiful red droplets produced by an endophytic fungus, Penicillium restrictum. As described in a recent high profile article in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, this compound is effective against drug resistant bacterial infections in mice.

Ω-Hydroxyemodin Limits Staphylococcus aureus Quorum Sensing-Mediated Pathogenesis and Inflammation.”

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are a global health threat. Small molecules that inhibit bacterial virulence have been suggested as alternatives or adjuncts to conventional antibiotics, as they may limit pathogenesis and increase bacterial susceptibility to host killing. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of invasive skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in both the hospital and community settings, and it is also becoming increasingly antibiotic resistant. Data from the research performed here suggests that bacterial disarmament through the suppression of S. aureus QS may bolster the host innate immune response and limit inflammation.

Seth M. Daly, Bradley O. Elmore, Jeffrey S. Kavanaugh, Kathleen D. Triplett, Mario Figueroa, Huzefa A. Raja, Tamam El-Elimat, Heidi A. Crosby, Jon K. Femling, Nadja B. Cech, Alexander R. Horswill, Nicholas H. Oberlies, and Pamela R. Hall
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 201559, 2223-2235.
PMID: 25645827; PMCID: PMC4356798; doi: 10.1128/AAC.04564-14
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