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Open AccessArticle

A New Water-Soluble Bactericidal Agent for the Treatment of Infections Caused by Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacterial Strains

1
Department of Biological, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Science and Technology (STEBICEF), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo, Italy
2
National Interuniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (INSTM), Via G. Giusti 9, 50121 Firenze, Italy
3
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
4
Istituto per la Bioeconomia, CNR, via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI, Italy
5
Istituto per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione Biomedica, CNR, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antibiotics 2020, 9(9), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9090586
Received: 4 August 2020 / Revised: 27 August 2020 / Accepted: 7 September 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
Grapefruit and lemon pectin obtained from the respective waste citrus peels via hydrodynamic cavitation in water only are powerful, broad-scope antimicrobials against Gram-negative and -positive bacteria. Dubbed IntegroPectin, these pectic polymers functionalized with citrus flavonoids and terpenes show superior antimicrobial activity when compared to commercial citrus pectin. Similar to commercial pectin, lemon IntegroPectin determined ca. 3-log reduction in Staphylococcus aureus cells, while an enhanced activity of commercial citrus pectin was detected in the case of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells with a minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 15 mg mL−1. Although grapefruit and lemon IntegroPectin share equal MBC in the case of P. aeruginosa cells, grapefruit IntegroPectin shows boosted activity upon exposure of S. aureus cells with a 40 mg mL−1 biopolymer concentration affording complete killing of the bacterial cells. Insights into the mechanism of action of these biocompatible antimicrobials and their effect on bacterial cells, at the morphological level, were obtained indirectly through Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and directly through scanning electron microscopy. In the era of antimicrobial resistance, these results are of great societal and sanitary relevance since citrus IntegroPectin biomaterials are also devoid of cytotoxic activity, as already shown for lemon IntegroPectin, opening the route to the development of new medical treatments of polymicrobial infections unlikely to develop drug resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: citrus pectin; lemon; grapefruit; IntegroPectin; flavonoids; citrus terpenes; polyphenols; antimicrobial resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; Pseudomonas aeruginosa citrus pectin; lemon; grapefruit; IntegroPectin; flavonoids; citrus terpenes; polyphenols; antimicrobial resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Presentato, A.; Piacenza, E.; Scurria, A.; Albanese, L.; Zabini, F.; Meneguzzo, F.; Nuzzo, D.; Pagliaro, M.; Martino, D.C.; Alduina, R.; Ciriminna, R. A New Water-Soluble Bactericidal Agent for the Treatment of Infections Caused by Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacterial Strains. Antibiotics 2020, 9, 586. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9090586

AMA Style

Presentato A, Piacenza E, Scurria A, Albanese L, Zabini F, Meneguzzo F, Nuzzo D, Pagliaro M, Martino DC, Alduina R, Ciriminna R. A New Water-Soluble Bactericidal Agent for the Treatment of Infections Caused by Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacterial Strains. Antibiotics. 2020; 9(9):586. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9090586

Chicago/Turabian Style

Presentato, Alessandro; Piacenza, Elena; Scurria, Antonino; Albanese, Lorenzo; Zabini, Federica; Meneguzzo, Francesco; Nuzzo, Domenico; Pagliaro, Mario; Martino, Delia C.; Alduina, Rosa; Ciriminna, Rosaria. 2020. "A New Water-Soluble Bactericidal Agent for the Treatment of Infections Caused by Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacterial Strains" Antibiotics 9, no. 9: 586. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9090586

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