Where Are We Now and Where Is Antimicrobial Therapy Headed?

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Drug Targeting and Design".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2024) | Viewed by 1872

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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences and i4HB—Institute for Health and Bioeconomy, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: cell biophysics; antimicrobial agents; cancer therapy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) remains a major significant global concern. The continuous overuse and misuse of antibiotics have led to the development of resistant strains of bacteria, making complex infections (such as biofilms) harder to treat. For instance, one recent outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae alone in Seattle hospital resulted in 31 infected patients and 4 deaths.

Thus, the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs, as well as ways to maximize the use of current drugs, is extremely critical.

In the last decade, different studies focused on discovering and developing new classes of antibiotics to combat drug-resistant bacteria. This involved exploring different sources, such as natural products, as well as innovative synthetic approaches.

In some cases, the most promising results were obtained by combining multiple antibiotics or using combination therapies with other treatment compounds such as enzymes that are able to attach to the biofilm matrix.

Other alternative approaches often reported in the literature use bacteriophages to effectively target bacteria. Probiotics and other microbiome-based therapies are also reported due to their potential in preventing and treating bacterial infections.

Antimicrobial therapy tailored to the precise characteristics of the infecting microorganism and the patient's individual circumstances is also a new possibility that may maximize therapeutic success while reducing the negative effects and resistance development. Futhermore, several non-antibiotic drugs have been tested in the fight against AMR such as anesthetics, antipsychotics, and cardiovascular drugs.

In this context, this Special Issue seeks to uncover novel strategies and/or chemicals that can help improve the success of bacterial treatment.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Antimicrobial peptides and peptidomimetics;
  • Use of natural products;
  • Combinations of antimicrobial agents;
  • Inhibitors of virulence factors;
  • Use of nanoparticles;
  • Drug delivery systems;
  • Unconventional Drugs;
  • Phage therapy;
  • Enzybiotics.

This Special Issue welcomes different types of submissions, such as original research papers, short communications, and reviews.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Sandra N. Pinto
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • antimicrobial peptides and peptidomimetics
  • use of natural products
  • combinations of antimicrobial agents
  • inhibitors of virulence factors
  • use of nanoparticles
  • drug delivery systems
  • unconventional Drugs
  • phage therapy
  • enzybiotics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2531 KiB  
Article
Surfactants’ Interplay with Biofilm Development in Staphylococcus and Candida
by Florin Aonofriesei
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(5), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16050657 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 668
Abstract
The capacity of micro-organisms to form biofilms is a pervasive trait in the microbial realm. For pathogens, biofilm formation serves as a virulence factor facilitating successful host colonization. Simultaneously, infections stemming from biofilm-forming micro-organisms pose significant treatment challenges due to their heightened resistance [...] Read more.
The capacity of micro-organisms to form biofilms is a pervasive trait in the microbial realm. For pathogens, biofilm formation serves as a virulence factor facilitating successful host colonization. Simultaneously, infections stemming from biofilm-forming micro-organisms pose significant treatment challenges due to their heightened resistance to antimicrobial agents. Hence, the quest for active compounds capable of impeding microbial biofilm development stands as a pivotal pursuit in biomedical research. This study presents findings concerning the impact of three surfactants, namely, polysorbate 20 (T20), polysorbate 80 (T80), and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), on the initial stage of biofilm development in both Staphylococcus aureus and Candida dubliniensis. In contrast to previous investigations, we conducted a comparative assessment of the biofilm development capacity of these two taxonomically distant groups, predicated on their shared ability to reduce TTC. The common metabolic trait shared by S. aureus and C. dubliniensis in reducing TTC to formazan facilitated a simultaneous evaluation of biofilm development under the influence of surfactants across both groups. Our results revealed that surfactants could impede the development of biofilms in both species by disrupting the initial cell attachment step. The observed effect was contingent upon the concentration and type of compound, with a higher inhibition observed in culture media supplemented with SDS. At maximum concentrations (5%), T20 and T80 significantly curtailed the formation and viability of S. aureus and C. dubliniensis biofilms. Specifically, T20 inhibited biofilm development by 75.36% in S. aureus and 71.18% in C. dubliniensis, while T80 exhibited a slightly lower inhibitory effect, with values ranging between 66.68% (C. dubliniensis) and 65.54% (S. aureus) compared to the controls. Incorporating these two non-toxic surfactants into pharmaceutical formulations could potentially enhance the inhibitory efficacy of selected antimicrobial agents, particularly in external topical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Are We Now and Where Is Antimicrobial Therapy Headed?)
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23 pages, 5615 KiB  
Article
The Antimicrobial Potency of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Loaded with Melissa officinalis Extract
by Gabriela Petrișor, Ludmila Motelica, Roxana Doina Trușcǎ, Andreea-Luiza Mȋrț, Gabriel Vasilievici, Justinian-Andrei Tomescu, Cristina Manea, Andreea Ștefania Dumbravǎ, Viorica Maria Corbu, Irina Gheorghe-Barbu, Denisa Ficai, Ovidiu-Cristian Oprea, Bogdan-Ștefan Vasile, Anton Ficai and Anca Daniela Raiciu
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(4), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16040525 - 10 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Melissa officinalis is an important medicinal plant that is used and studied intensively due to its numerous pharmacological effects. This plant has numerous active compounds with biomedical potential; some are volatile, while others are sensitive to heat or oxygen. Therefore, to increase stability [...] Read more.
Melissa officinalis is an important medicinal plant that is used and studied intensively due to its numerous pharmacological effects. This plant has numerous active compounds with biomedical potential; some are volatile, while others are sensitive to heat or oxygen. Therefore, to increase stability and prolong biological activities, the natural extract can be loaded into various nanostructured systems. In this study, different loading systems were obtained from mesoporous silica, like Mobile Composition of Matter family (MCM) with a hexagonal (MCM-41) or cubic (MCM-48) pore structure, simple or functionalized with amino groups (using 3-aminopropyl) such as triethoxysilane (APTES). Thus, the four materials were characterized from morphological and structural points of view by scanning electron microscopy, a BET analysis with adsorption–desorption isotherms, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and a thermogravimetric analysis coupled with differential scanning calorimetry. Natural extract from Melissa officinalis was concentrated and analyzed by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography to identify the polyphenolic compounds. The obtained materials were tested against Gram-negative bacteria and yeasts and against both reference strains and clinical strains belonging to Gram-positive bacteria that were previously isolated from intra-hospital infections. The highest antimicrobial efficiency was found against Gram-positive and fungal strains. Good activity was also recorded against methicillin-resistant S. aureus, the Melissa officinalis extract inhibiting the production of various virulence factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Are We Now and Where Is Antimicrobial Therapy Headed?)
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