Special Issue "Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural and Bio-inspired Molecules".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2022 | Viewed by 6119

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Eleonora Pagnotta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria, Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, CREA-CI, Bologna, Italy
Interests: nutraceuticals; biochemical assays; cancer cell line; confocal microscopy; extraction of natural products; chemoprevention; cell proliferation; green chemistry; biochemistry; nutritional biochemistry
Dr. Luisa Ugolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria, Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, CREA-CI, Bologna, Italy
Interests: brassicaceae; glucosinolates; green chemistry; extraction and purification of bioactive molecules

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural compounds include secondary metabolites that can originate from microorganisms, animals and plants. Plants, in particular, are a major source of phytochemicals, such as glucosinolates, glycoalkaloids, phenolics, anthocyanins, and organic acids, which exhibit antimicrobial activities against a wide range of animal and human pathogens. For each class of these bioactive molecules, several mechanisms of action in inhibiting the growth of pathogens such as fungi and bacteria are involved: the destabilization and permeabilization of membranes, the inhibition of microbial enzymes, and direct actions on microbial metabolism. The antimicrobial activity of bioactive natural compounds can also be related to blocking the adherence of pathogens to epithelial cells, which is a prerequisite for the colonisation and infection of many bacteria.

Bioactive natural compounds may have important applications in the future as natural antimicrobial agents for the agri-food and food industry as well as therapeutic drugs. The use of natural products for the treatment and prevention of many human, animal and insect diseases has received increasing attention, especially when considering the emerging problems related to pathogen drug resistance, drug safety and residue persistence in treated animal products (e.g., meat, milk and honey). The influence of dietary nutraceuticals on human, animal and insect microbiota could also play a fundamental role in nutrition, health and chronic inflammatory diseases of microbial origin.

We are pleased to invite you to submit to this Special Issue of Biomolecules, titled “Bioactive Natural Compounds Active against Animal and Human Pathogens”.

This Special Issue aims to provide a representation of the new trends of bioactive compounds possibly involved in the defence of animal or human health against pathogens. The Special Issue will cover a selection of current research topics, including but not limited to the following: (a) bioactive compounds active against animal pathogens, (b) bioactive compounds active against human pathogens, and (c) bioactive compounds’ influences on animal and human microbiota and their effects on related diseases. Original articles as well as focused reviews and viewpoints devoted but not restricted to understanding the in-depth mechanisms and possible applications of bioactive natural compounds in animal and human health are welcome.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Eleonora Pagnotta
Dr. Luisa Ugolini
Dr. Giovanni Cilia
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Biomolecules 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 2100 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

  • Natural compounds
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Phytochemicals
  • Antimicrobial agents
  • Microbiome
  • Human pathogens
  • Animal pathogens
  • Insect pathogens
  • Therapeutic tools

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Anthelmintic Activity and Cytotoxic Effects of Compounds Isolated from the Fruits of Ozoroa insignis Del. (Anacardiaceae)
Biomolecules 2021, 11(12), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11121893 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Ozoroa insignis Del. is an ethnobotanical plant widely used in traditional medicine for various ailments, including schistosomiasis, tapeworm, and hookworm infections. From the so far not investigated fruits of Ozoroa insignis, the anthelmintic principles could be isolated through bioassay-guided isolation using Caenorhabditis [...] Read more.
Ozoroa insignis Del. is an ethnobotanical plant widely used in traditional medicine for various ailments, including schistosomiasis, tapeworm, and hookworm infections. From the so far not investigated fruits of Ozoroa insignis, the anthelmintic principles could be isolated through bioassay-guided isolation using Caenorhabditis elegans and identified by NMR spectroscopic analysis and mass spectrometric studies. Isolated 6-[8(Z)-pentadecenyl] anacardic (1), 6-[10(Z)-heptadecenyl] anacardic acid (2), and 3-[7(Z)-pentadecenyl] phenol (3) were evaluated against the 5 parasitic organisms Schistosoma mansoni (adult and newly transformed schistosomula), Strongyloides ratti, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, Necator americanus, and Ancylostoma ceylanicum, which mainly infect humans and other mammals. Compounds 13 showed good activity against Schistosoma mansoni, with compound 1 showing the best activity against newly transformed schistosomula with 50% activity at 1µM. The isolated compounds were also evaluated for their cytotoxic properties against PC-3 (human prostate adenocarcinoma) and HT-29 (human colorectal adenocarcinoma) cell lines, whereby compounds 2 and 3 showed antiproliferative activity in both cancer cell lines, while compound 1 exhibited antiproliferative activity only on PC-3 cells. With an IC50 value of 43.2 µM, compound 3 was found to be the most active of the 3 investigated compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens)
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Article
A Time-Kill Assay Study on the Synergistic Bactericidal Activity of Pomegranate Rind Extract and Zn (II) against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Biomolecules 2021, 11(12), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11121889 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
There is a need for new antimicrobial systems due to increased global resistance to current antimicrobials. Pomegranate rind extract (PRE) and Zn (II) ions both possess a level of antimicrobial activity and work has previously shown that PRE/Zn (II) in combination possesses synergistic [...] Read more.
There is a need for new antimicrobial systems due to increased global resistance to current antimicrobials. Pomegranate rind extract (PRE) and Zn (II) ions both possess a level of antimicrobial activity and work has previously shown that PRE/Zn (II) in combination possesses synergistic activity against Herpes simplex virus and Micrococcus luteus. Here, we determined whether such synergistic activity extended to other, more pathogenic, bacteria. Reference strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were cultured and subjected to challenge by PRE, Zn (II), or PRE + Zn (II), in time-kill assays. Data were obtained independently by two researchers using different PRE preparations. Statistically significant synergistic activity for PRE + Zn (II) was shown for all four bacterial strains tested compared to untreated controls, although the extent of efficacy and timescales varied. Zn (II) exerted activity and at 1 h, it was not possible to distinguish with PRE + Zn (II) combination treatment in all cases. PRE alone showed low activity against all four bacteria. Reproducible synergistic bactericidal activity involving PRE and Zn (II) has been confirmed. Potential mechanisms are discussed. The development of a therapeutic system that possesses demonstrable antimicrobial activity is supported which lends itself particularly to topical delivery applications, for example MRSA infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens)
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Article
Glucosinolate Bioactivation by Apis mellifera Workers and Its Impact on Nosema ceranae Infection at the Colony Level
Biomolecules 2021, 11(11), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11111657 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
The microsporidian fungus Nosema ceranae represents one of the primary bee infection threats worldwide and the antibiotic fumagillin is the only registered product for nosemosis disease control, while few alternatives are, at present, available. Natural bioactive compounds deriving from the glucosinolate–myrosinase system (GSL–MYR) [...] Read more.
The microsporidian fungus Nosema ceranae represents one of the primary bee infection threats worldwide and the antibiotic fumagillin is the only registered product for nosemosis disease control, while few alternatives are, at present, available. Natural bioactive compounds deriving from the glucosinolate–myrosinase system (GSL–MYR) in Brassicaceae plants, mainly isothiocyanates (ITCs), are known for their antimicrobial activity against numerous pathogens and for their health-protective effects in humans. This work explored the use of Brassica nigra and Eruca sativa defatted seed meal (DSM) GSL-containing diets against natural Nosema infection in Apis mellifera colonies. DSM patties from each plant species were obtained by adding DSMs to sugar candy at the concentration of 4% (w/w). The feeding was administered in May to mildly N. ceranae-infected honey bee colonies for four weeks at the dose of 250 g/week. In the treated groups, no significant effects on colony development and bee mortality were observed compared to the negative controls. The N. ceranae abundance showed a slight but significant decrease. Furthermore, the GSL metabolism in bees was investigated, and MYR hydrolytic activity was qualitatively searched in isolated bee midgut and hindgut. Interestingly, MYR activity was detected both in the bees fed DSMs and in the control group where the bees did not receive DSMs. In parallel, ITCs were found in gut tissues from the bees treated with DSMs, corroborating the presence of a MYR-like enzyme capable of hydrolyzing ingested GSLs. On the other hand, GSLs and other GSL hydrolysis products other than ITCs, such as nitriles, were found in honey produced by the treated bees, potentially increasing the health value of the final product for human consumption. The results are indicative of a specific effect on the N. ceranae infection in managed honey bee colonies depending on the GSL activation within the target organ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens)
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Article
Grape Pomace for Topical Application: Green NaDES Sustainable Extraction, Skin Permeation Studies, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities Characterization in 3D Human Keratinocytes
Biomolecules 2021, 11(8), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11081181 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1032
Abstract
Food waste is a global problem due to its environmental and economic impact, so there is great demand for the exploitation of new functional applications. The winemaking process leads to an incomplete extraction of high-value compounds, leaving the pomace still rich in polyphenols. [...] Read more.
Food waste is a global problem due to its environmental and economic impact, so there is great demand for the exploitation of new functional applications. The winemaking process leads to an incomplete extraction of high-value compounds, leaving the pomace still rich in polyphenols. This study was aimed at optimising and validating sustainable routes toward the extraction and further valorisation of these polyphenols, particularly for cosmeceutical applications. New formulations based on red grape pomace polyphenols and natural deep eutectic solvents (NaDESs) were here investigated, namely betaine combined with citric acid (BET-CA), urea (BET-U) and ethylene glycol (BET-EG), in which DESs were used both as extracting and carrying agents for polyphenols. The flavonoid profile determined by HPLC-MS/MS analysis showed similar malvidin content (51–56 μg mL−1) in the DES combinations, while BET-CA gave the best permeation performance in Franz cells, so it was further investigated in 3D human keratinocytes (HaCat spheroids) injured with the pro-oxidant agent menadione. BET-CA treatment showed good intracellular antioxidant activity (IC50 0.15 ± 0.02 μg mL−1 in malvidin content) and significantly decreased (p < 0.001) the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-8, improving cell viability. Thus, BET-CA formulation is worthy of investigation for potential use as a cosmetic ingredient to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which are causes of skin aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens)
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Review

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Review
Polyphenol and Tannin Nutraceuticals and Their Metabolites: How the Human Gut Microbiota Influences Their Properties
Biomolecules 2022, 12(7), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom12070875 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 283
Abstract
Nutraceuticals have been receiving increasing attention in the last few years due to their potential role as adjuvants against non-communicable chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.). However, a limited number of studies have been performed to evaluate the bioavailability of such compounds, [...] Read more.
Nutraceuticals have been receiving increasing attention in the last few years due to their potential role as adjuvants against non-communicable chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.). However, a limited number of studies have been performed to evaluate the bioavailability of such compounds, and it is generally reported that a substantial elevation of their plasma concentration can only be achieved when they are consumed at pharmacological levels. Even so, positive effects have been reported associated with an average dietary consumption of several nutraceutical classes, meaning that the primary compound might not be solely responsible for all the biological effects. The in vivo activities of such biomolecules might be carried out by metabolites derived from gut microbiota fermentative transformation. This review discusses the structure and properties of phenolic nutraceuticals (i.e., polyphenols and tannins) and the putative role of the human gut microbiota in influencing the beneficial effects of such compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens)
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Review
Anticoronavirus and Immunomodulatory Phenolic Compounds: Opportunities and Pharmacotherapeutic Perspectives
Biomolecules 2021, 11(8), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11081254 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
In 2019, COVID-19 emerged as a severe respiratory disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease has been associated with high mortality rate, especially in patients with comorbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney diseases. [...] Read more.
In 2019, COVID-19 emerged as a severe respiratory disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease has been associated with high mortality rate, especially in patients with comorbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney diseases. This could be attributed to dysregulated immune responses and severe systemic inflammation in COVID-19 patients. The use of effective antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and modulation of the immune responses could be a potential therapeutic strategy for COVID-19. Studies have shown that natural phenolic compounds have several pharmacological properties, including anticoronavirus and immunomodulatory activities. Therefore, this review discusses the dual action of these natural products from the perspective of applicability at COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Compounds against Animal and Human Pathogens)
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