Special Issue "Antibacterial, Antibiofilm and Anti-virulence Activity Research of Both Natural and Synthetic Products"

A special issue of Antibiotics (ISSN 2079-6382).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Eliana De Gregorio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: antimicrobial agent; antibiofilm agent; anti-virulence agent; bacterial pathogenesis; bacterial repeat proteins; acinetobacter baumannii; staphylococcus aureus

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a global public health treat. The excessive use of traditional antibiotics has resulted in the emergence of multidrug resistance of microorganisms. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) species tend to exhibit high levels of resistance to many antibiotic drug classes, causing infections which are difficult to treat with conventional antibiotic therapies. The ability to form well-organized biofilm makes bacteria highly resistant to the available antibiotics. Despite intensive efforts searching for new antimicrobial agents, there are few active candidates, and new anti-infectives that act through different mechanisms of action are needed. A promising alternative strategy to treat infections caused by MDR bacteria is antivirulence therapy, which is based on the development of drugs able to specifically inhibit virulence factors. The aim of this Special Issue is to present a collection of manuscripts that explore newly discovered antibacterial agents as well as their mode of action in bacteria.

Potential topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Discovery and/or molecular mechanisms of novel compounds with bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity
  • Discovery and/or molecular mechanisms of novel compounds with activity against bacterial and/or fungal biofilm
  • Discovery and molecular mechanisms of novel compounds targeting bacterial virulence factors such as quorum sensing, biofilm formation, motility, toxins, and pigments

Dr. Eliana De Gregorio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Antibiotics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • antimicrobial agent
  • antibiofilm agent
  • synergy between new antimicrobial products and conventional antibiotics
  • anti-virulence agent
  • mechanism of drug action
  • repurposing of approved drugs as antibacterial agent
  • biofilms
  • virulence factors

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
The Glucocorticoid PYED-1 Disrupts Mature Biofilms of Candida spp. and Inhibits Hyphal Development in Candida albicans
Antibiotics 2021, 10(11), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10111396 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Invasive Candida infections have become a global public health problem due to the increase of Candida species resistant against antifungal therapeutics. The glucocorticoid PYED-1 (pregnadiene-11-hydroxy-16α,17α-epoxy-3,20-dione-1) has antimicrobial activity against various bacterial taxa. Consequently, it might be considered for the treatment of Candida infections. [...] Read more.
Invasive Candida infections have become a global public health problem due to the increase of Candida species resistant against antifungal therapeutics. The glucocorticoid PYED-1 (pregnadiene-11-hydroxy-16α,17α-epoxy-3,20-dione-1) has antimicrobial activity against various bacterial taxa. Consequently, it might be considered for the treatment of Candida infections. The antifungal activity of PYED-1 was evaluated against several fungal strains that were representative of the five species that causes the majority of Candida infections—namely, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis and Candida krusei. PYED-1 exhibited a weak antifungal activity and a fungistatic effect on all five Candida species. On the other hand, PYED-1 exhibited a good anti-biofilm activity, and was able to eradicate the preformed biofilms of all Candida species analyzed. Moreover, PYED-1 inhibited germ tube and hyphae formation of C. albicans and reduced adhesion of C. albicans to abiotic surfaces by up to 30%. Full article
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Article
Interaction of Temporin-L Analogues with the E. coli FtsZ Protein
Antibiotics 2021, 10(6), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10060704 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The research of new therapeutic agents to fight bacterial infections has recently focused on the investigation of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), the most common weapon that all organisms produce to prevent invasion by external pathogens. Among AMPs, the amphibian Temporins constitute a well-known family [...] Read more.
The research of new therapeutic agents to fight bacterial infections has recently focused on the investigation of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), the most common weapon that all organisms produce to prevent invasion by external pathogens. Among AMPs, the amphibian Temporins constitute a well-known family with high antibacterial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In particular, Temporin-L was shown to affect bacterial cell division by inhibiting FtsZ, a tubulin-like protein involved in the crucial step of Z-ring formation at the beginning of the division process. As FtsZ represents a leading target for new antibacterial compounds, in this paper we investigated in detail the interaction of Temporin L with Escherichia coli FtsZ and designed two TL analogues in an attempt to increase peptide-protein interactions and to better understand the structural determinants leading to FtsZ inhibition. The results demonstrated that the TL analogues improved their binding to FtsZ, originating stable protein-peptide complexes. Functional studies showed that both peptides were endowed with a high capability of inhibiting both the enzymatic and polymerization activities of the protein. Moreover, the TL analogues were able to inhibit bacterial growth at low micromolar concentrations. These observations may open up the way to the development of novel peptide or peptidomimetic drugs tailored to bind FtsZ, hampering a crucial process of bacterial life that might be proposed for future pharmaceutical applications. Full article
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Article
Sub-Inhibitory Concentrations of Ciprofloxacin Alone and Combinations with Plant-Derived Compounds against P. aeruginosa Biofilms and Their Effects on the Metabolomic Profile of P. aeruginosa Biofilms
Antibiotics 2021, 10(4), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10040414 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Introduction: Alternative anti-biofilm agents are needed to combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. The mechanisms behind these new agents also need to be revealed at a molecular level. Materials and methods: The anti-biofilm effects of 10 plant-derived compounds on P. aeruginosa biofilms were investigated using [...] Read more.
Introduction: Alternative anti-biofilm agents are needed to combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. The mechanisms behind these new agents also need to be revealed at a molecular level. Materials and methods: The anti-biofilm effects of 10 plant-derived compounds on P. aeruginosa biofilms were investigated using minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) and virulence assays. The effects of ciprofloxacin and compound combinations on P. aeruginosa in mono and triple biofilms were compared. A metabolomic approach and qRT-PCR were applied to the biofilms treated with ciprofloxacin in combination with baicalein, esculin hydrate, curcumin, and cinnamaldehyde at sub-minimal biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC) concentrations to highlight the specific metabolic shifts between the biofilms and to determine the quorum sensing gene expressions, respectively. Results: The combinations of ciprofloxacin with curcumin, baicalein, esculetin, and cinnamaldehyde showed more reduced MBICs than ciprofloxacin alone. The quorum sensing genes were downregulated in the presence of curcumin and cinnamaldehyde, while upregulated in the presence of baicalein and esculin hydrate rather than for ciprofloxacin alone. The combinations exhibited different killing effects on P. aeruginosa in mono and triple biofilms without affecting its virulence. The findings of the decreased metabolite levels related to pyrimidine and lipopolysaccharide synthesis and to down-regulated alginate and lasI expressions strongly indicate the role of multifactorial mechanisms for curcumin-mediated P. aeruginosa growth inhibition. Conclusions: The use of curcumin, baicalein, esculetin, and cinnamaldehyde with ciprofloxacin will help fight against P. aeruginosa biofilms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to define the effect of plant-based compounds as possible anti-biofilm agents with low MBICs for the treatment of P. aeruginosa biofilms through metabolomic pathways. Full article
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Article
Indole Derivatives Obtained from Egyptian Enterobacter sp. Soil Isolates Exhibit Antivirulence Activities against Uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis
Antibiotics 2021, 10(4), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10040363 - 29 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Proteus mirabilis is a frequent cause of catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). Several virulence factors contribute to its pathogenesis, but swarming motility, biofilm formation, and urease activity are considered the hallmarks. The increased prevalence in antibiotic resistance among uropathogens is alarming and [...] Read more.
Proteus mirabilis is a frequent cause of catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). Several virulence factors contribute to its pathogenesis, but swarming motility, biofilm formation, and urease activity are considered the hallmarks. The increased prevalence in antibiotic resistance among uropathogens is alarming and requires searching for new treatment alternatives. With this in mind, our study aims to investigate antivirulence activity of indole derivatives against multidrug resistant P. mirabilis isolates. Ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extracts from Enterobacter sp. (rhizobacterium), isolated from Egyptian soil samples were tested for their ability to antagonize the virulence capacity and biofilm activity of P. mirabilis uropathogens. Extracts of two Enterobacter sp. isolates (coded Zch127 and Cbg70) showed the highest antivirulence activities against P. mirabilis. The two promising rhizobacteria Zch127 and Cbg70 were isolated from soil surrounding: Cucurbita pepo (Zucchini) and Brassica oleracea var. capitata L. (Cabbage), respectively. Sub-minimum inhibitory concentrations (Sub-MICs) of the two extracts showed potent antibiofilm activity with significant biofilm reduction of ten P. mirabilis clinical isolates (p-value < 0.05) in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, the Zch127 extract showed anti-urease, anti-swarming and anti-swimming activity against the tested strains. Indole derivatives identified represented key components of indole pyruvate, indole acetamide pathways; involved in the synthesis of indole acetic acid. Additional compounds for indole acetonitrile pathway were detected in the Zch127 extract which showed higher antivirulence activity. Accordingly, the findings of the current study model the feasibility of using these extracts as promising antivirulence agent against the P. mirabilis uropathogens and as potential therapy for treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Full article
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Article
Comparative Investigation of Composition, Antifungal, and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of the Essential Oil from Three Industrial Hemp Varieties from Italian Cultivation
Antibiotics 2021, 10(3), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030334 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
Industrial hemp is characterized by a huge amount of by-products, such as inflorescences, that may represent high-quality sources of biomolecules with pharmaceutical interest. In the present study, we have evaluated the phytochemical profile, including terpene and terpenophenolic compounds, of the essential oils (EOs) [...] Read more.
Industrial hemp is characterized by a huge amount of by-products, such as inflorescences, that may represent high-quality sources of biomolecules with pharmaceutical interest. In the present study, we have evaluated the phytochemical profile, including terpene and terpenophenolic compounds, of the essential oils (EOs) of Futura 75, Carmagnola selezionata and Eletta campana hemp varieties. The EOs were also tested for antifungal properties toward Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton rubrum, Arthroderma crocatum, Arthroderma quadrifidum, Arthroderma gypseum, Arthroderma curreyi, and Arthroderma insingulare. In parallel, we investigated the inhibitory effects of the EOs against tyrosinase, and the production of prostaglandin E2 in isolated mouse skin exposed to hydrogen peroxide. In human H1299 lung adenocarcinoma cells, we also evaluated the influence of the EOs on the gene expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), which are involved in SARS-CoV-2 entry in human host. E-caryophyllene and α-pinene were the prominent terpenes in the EOs, whereas the cannabidiolic acid was the terpenophenol present at higher concentration. The EOs inhibited the growth of all tested dermatophytes species. In isolated skin specimens, EOs prevented the hydrogen-peroxide-induced synthesis of prostaglandin E2, consistent with the intrinsic antityrosinase activity. Finally, in H1299 cells, all tested EOs reduced the gene expression of ACE-2 and TMPRSS2, as well. Therefore, the present findings highlight the rationale for the use of the present EOs against infectious diseases. Full article
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Article
Pharmacological Potential and Chemical Characterization of Bridelia ferruginea Benth.—A Native Tropical African Medicinal Plant
Antibiotics 2021, 10(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10020223 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
To avail the possible pharmacological actions of Brideliaferruginea Benth., the present investigation was designed to quantitatively analyze the total flavonoid and phenolic contents and assess the various antioxidant and enzyme inhibition properties of leaf and stem bark extracts (ethyl acetate, water and [...] Read more.
To avail the possible pharmacological actions of Brideliaferruginea Benth., the present investigation was designed to quantitatively analyze the total flavonoid and phenolic contents and assess the various antioxidant and enzyme inhibition properties of leaf and stem bark extracts (ethyl acetate, water and methanolic) of B. ferruginea. Anti-proliferative effect was also investigated against human colon cancer cells (HCT116) as well as the antimicrobial potential against multiple bacterial and fungal (yeasts and dermatophytes) strains. The methanolic and water extracts of the stem bark demonstrated the highest phenolic content (193.58 ± 0.98 and 187.84 ± 1.88 mg/g, respectively), while the leaf extracts showed comparatively higher flavonoid contents (24.37–42.31 mg/g). Overall, the methanolic extracts were found to possess the most significant antioxidant potency. Compared to the other extracts, methanolic extracts of the B. ferruginea were revealed to be most potent inhibitors of acetyl- and butyryl-cholinesterases, tyrosinase α-amylase, except α-glucosidase. Only the ethyl acetate extracts were found to inhibit glucosidase. Additionally, the stem bark methanolic extract also showed potent inhibitory activity against E. coli and gram-positive bacteria (MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration): 2.48–62.99 µg/mL), as well as all the tested fungi (MIC: 4.96–62.99 µg/mL). In conclusion, B. ferruginea can be regarded as a promising source of bioactive compounds displaying multifunctional pharmacological activities and thus is a potential candidate for further investigations in the endeavor to develop botanical formulations for pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical industries. Full article
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Article
Baicalein Inhibits Streptococcus mutans Biofilms and Dental Caries-Related Virulence Phenotypes
Antibiotics 2021, 10(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10020215 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1024
Abstract
Dental caries, the most common oral disease, is a major public healthcare burden and affects more than three billion people worldwide. The contemporary understanding of the need for a healthy microbiome and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance has resulted in an urgent need [...] Read more.
Dental caries, the most common oral disease, is a major public healthcare burden and affects more than three billion people worldwide. The contemporary understanding of the need for a healthy microbiome and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance has resulted in an urgent need to identify compounds that curb the virulence of pathobionts without microbial killing. Through this study, we have demonstrated for the first time that 5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone (Baicalein) significantly downregulates crucial caries-related virulence phenotypes in Streptococcus mutans. Baicalein significantly inhibited biofilm formation by Streptococcus mutans UA159 (MBIC50 = 200 μM), without significant growth inhibition. Notably, these concentrations of baicalein did not affect the commensal S. gordonii. Strikingly, baicalein significantly reduced cell surface hydrophobicity, autoaggregation and acid production by S. mutans. Mechanistic studies (qRT-PCR) showed downregulation of various genes regulating biofilm formation, surface attachment, quorum sensing, acid production and competence. Finally, we demonstrate the potential translational value of baicalein by reporting synergistic interaction with fluoride against S. mutans biofilms. Full article
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