43 research outputs found

    Thrombocidin-1-derived antimicrobial peptide TC19 combats superficial multi-drug resistant bacterial wound infections

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    Antimicrobial peptides are considered promising candidates for the development of novel antimicrobial agents to combat infections by multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of the synthetic peptide TC19, derived from the human thrombocidin-1-derived peptide L3. Biophysical experiments into the interaction between TC19 and mimics of human and bacterial plasma membranes demonstrated that the peptide is highly selective for bacterial membranes. In agreement, TC19 combined low cytotoxicity towards human fibroblasts with efficient and rapid killing in human plasma of MDR strains of several bacterial species of the ESKAPE panel. In addition, TC19 induced minor resistance in vitro, neutralized pro-inflammatory activity of bacterial cell envelope components while displaying slight chemotactic activity for human neutrophils. Importantly, topical application of TC19-containing hypromellose gel significantly reduced numbers of viable methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and MDR Acinetobacter baumannii in a superficial wound infection in mice. Together, TC19 is an attractive candidate for further development as a novel agent against (MDR) bacterial skin wound infections

    The antimicrobial peptide SAAP-148 combats drug-resistant bacteria and biofilms

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    Development of novel antimicrobial agents is a top priority in the fight against multidrug-resistant (MDR) and persistent bacteria. We developed a panel of synthetic antimicrobial and antibiofilm peptides (SAAPs) with enhanced antimicrobial activities compared to the parent peptide, human antimicrobial peptide LL-37. Our lead peptide SAAP-148 was more efficient in killing bacteria under physiological conditions in vitro than many known preclinical-and clinical-phase antimicrobial peptides. SAAP-148 killed MDR pathogens without inducing resistance, prevented biofilm formation, and eliminated established biofilms and persister cells. A single 4-hour treatment with hypromellose ointment containing SAAP-148 completely eradicated acute and established, biofilm-associated infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and MDR Acinetobacter baumannii from wounded ex vivo human skin and murine skin in vivo. Together, these data demonstrate that SAAP-148 is a promising drug candidate in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose a great threat to human healt

    Antimicrobial Peptides in Biomedical Device Manufacturing

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    Over the past decades the use of medical devices, such as catheters, artificial heart valves, prosthetic joints, and other implants, has grown significantly. Despite continuous improvements in device design, surgical procedures, and wound care, biomaterial-associated infections (BAI) are still a major problem in modern medicine. Conventional antibiotic treatment often fails due to the low levels of antibiotic at the site of infection. The presence of biofilms on the biomaterial and/or the multidrug-resistant phenotype of the bacteria further impair the efficacy of antibiotic treatment. Removal of the biomaterial is then the last option to control the infection. Clearly, there is a pressing need for alternative strategies to prevent and treat BAI. Synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered promising candidates as they are active against a broad spectrum of (antibiotic-resistant) planktonic bacteria and biofilms. Moreover, bacteria are less likely to develop resistance to these rapidly-acting peptides. In this review we highlight the four main strategies, three of which applying AMPs, in biomedical device manufacturing to prevent BAI. The first involves modification of the physicochemical characteristics of the surface of implants. Immobilization of AMPs on surfaces of medical devices with a variety of chemical techniques is essential in the second strategy. The main disadvantage of these two strategies relates to the limited antibacterial effect in the tissue surrounding the implant. This limitation is addressed by the third strategy that releases AMPs from a coating in a controlled fashion. Lastly, AMPs can be integrated in the design and manufacturing of additively manufactured/3D-printed implants, owing to the physicochemical characteristics of the implant material and the versatile manufacturing technologies compatible with antimicrobials incorporation. These novel technologies utilizing AMPs will contribute to development of novel and safe antimicrobial medical devices, reducing complications and associated costs of device infection

    Phylogenetic signal in phenotypic traits related to carbon source assimilation and chemical sensitivity in Acinetobacter species

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    A common belief is that the phylogeny of bacteria may reflect molecular functions and phenotypic characteristics, pointing towards phylogenetic conservatism of traits. Here we tested this hypothesis for a large set of Acinetobacter strains. Members of the genus Acinetobacter are widespread in nature, demonstrate a high metabolic diversity and are resistant to several environmental stressors. Notably, some species are known to cause opportunistic human infections. A total of 133 strains belonging to 33 species with validly published names, two genomic species and species of an as-yet unknown taxonomic status were analyzed using the GENIII technology of Biolog, which allows high-throughput phenotyping. We estimated the strength and significance of the phylogenetic signal of each trait across phylogenetic reconstructions based on partial RNA polymerase subunit B (rpoB) and core genome sequences. Secondly, we tested whether phylogenetic distance was a good predictor of trait differentiation by Mantel test analysis. And finally, evolutionary model fitting was used to determine if the data for each phenotypic character was consistent with a phylogenetic or an essentially random model of trait distribution. Our data revealed that some key phenotypic traits related to substrate assimilation and chemical sensitivity are linked to the phylogenetic placement of Acinetobacter species. The strongest phylogenetic signals found were for utilization of different carbon sources such as some organic acids, amino acids and sugars, thus suggesting that in the diversification of acinetobacters carbon source assimilation has had a relevant role. Future work should be aimed to clarify how such traits have shaped the remarkable ability of this bacterial group to dominate in a wide variety of habitats.status: publishe

    A doxycycline-loaded polymer-lipid encapsulation matrix coating for the prevention of implant-related osteomyelitis due to doxycycline-resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

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    Implant-associated bone infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens pose significant clinical challenges to treating physicians. Prophylactic strategies that act against resistant organisms, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are urgently required. In the present study, we investigated the efficacy of a biodegradable Polymer-Lipid Encapsulation MatriX (PLEX) loaded with the antibiotic doxycycline as a local prophylactic strategy against implant-associated osteomyelitis. Activity was tested against both a doxycycline-susceptible (doxy(S)) methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) as well as a doxycycline-resistant (doxy(R)) methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). In vitro elution studies revealed that 25% of the doxycycline was released from the PLEX-coated implants within the first day, followed by a 3% release per day up to day 28. The released doxycycline was highly effective against doxy(S) MSSA for at least 14days in vitro. A bolus injection of doxycycline mimicking a one day release from the PLEX-coating reduced, but did not eliminate, mouse subcutaneous implant-associated infection (doxy(S) MSSA). In a rabbit intramedullary nail-related infection model, all rabbits receiving a PLEX-doxycycline-coated nail were culture negative in the doxy(S) MSSA-group and the surrounding bone displayed a normal physiological appearance in both histological sections and radiographs. In the doxy(R) MRSA inoculated rabbits, a statistically significant reduction in the number of culture-positive samples was observed for the PLEX-doxycycline-coated group when compared to the animals that had received an uncoated nail, although the reduction in bacterial burden did not reach statistical significance. In conclusion, the PLEX-doxycycline coating on titanium alloy implants provided complete protection against implant-associated MSSA osteomyelitis, and resulted in a significant reduction in the number of culture positive samples when challenged with a doxycycline-resistant MRSA.status: publishe

    Inflammatory and Antimicrobial Responses to Methicillin-Resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> in an <i>In Vitro</i> Wound Infection Model

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    <div><p>Treatment of patients with burn wound infections may become complicated by the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and biofilms. Herein, we demonstrate an <i>in vitro</i> thermal wound infection model using human skin equivalents (HSE) and biofilm-forming methicillin-resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> (MRSA) for the testing of agents to combat such infections. Application of a liquid nitrogen-cooled metal device on HSE produced reproducible wounds characterized by keratinocyte death, detachment of the epidermal layer from the dermis, and re-epithelialization. Thermal wounding was accompanied by up-regulation of markers for keratinocyte activation, inflammation, and antimicrobial responses. Exposure of thermal wounded HSEs to MRSA resulted in significant numbers of adherent MRSA/HSE after 1 hour, and multiplication of these bacteria over 24-48 hours. Exposure to MRSA enhanced expression of inflammatory mediators such as TLR2 (but not TLR3), IL-6 and IL-8, and antimicrobial proteins human β-defensin-2, -3 and RNAse7 by thermal wounded as compared to control HSEs. Moreover, locally applied mupirocin effectively reduced MRSA counts on (thermal wounded) HSEs by more than 99.9% within 24 hours. Together, these data indicate that this thermal wound infection model is a promising tool to study the initial phase of wound colonization and infection, and to assess local effects of candidate antimicrobial agents.</p> </div

    Cryo-electron tomography analysis of membrane vesicles from Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC19606(T)

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    <p>Acinetobacter baumannii is an important nosocomial pathogen responsible for colonization and infection of critically ill patients. Its virulence attributes together with the condition of the host determine the pathogenicity of A. baumannii. These virulence factors may be delivered to host cells by membrane vesicles. The aim of this study was to characterize the formation and morphology of membrane vesicles (MVs) from A. baumannii ATCC19606(T) using cryo-electron microscopy. Cryo-electron microscopy imaging of A. baumannii in broth cultures revealed the formation of small (similar to 30 nm) outer membrane vesicles at distal ends of early log-phase bacteria and larger (200-500 nm) membrane vesicles at septa of dividing bacteria. In the stationary phase vesicles comprising both inner and outer membranes were observed. In addition, we noted the presence of highly branched membrane structures originating from bacterial remnants forming large numbers of vesicles that were covered with proteins. Exposure of A. baumannii to sub-inhibitory concentrations of the antibiotic ceftazidime resulted in an increase in formation of MVs. Together, our results revealed multiple ways of vesicle formation leading to morphologically different MVs in the various stages of in vitro bacterial cultures. (c) 2013 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.</p>

    The success of Acinetobacter species; genetic, metabolic and virulence attributes

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    An understanding of why certain Acinetobacter species are more successful in causing nosocomial infections, transmission and epidemic spread in healthcare institutions compared with other species is lacking. We used genomic, phenotypic and virulence studies to identify differences between Acinetobacter species. Fourteen strains representing nine species were examined. Genomic analysis of six strains showed that the A. baumannii core genome contains many genes important for diverse metabolism and survival in the host. Most of the A. baumannii core genes were also present in one or more of the less clinically successful species. In contrast, when the accessory genome of an individual A. baumannii strain was compared to a strain of a less successful species (A. calcoaceticus RUH2202), many operons with putative virulence function were found to be present only in the A. baumannii strain, including the csu operon, the acinetobactin chromosomal cluster, and bacterial defence mechanisms. Phenotype microarray analysis showed that compared to A. calcoaceticus (RUH2202), A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T) was able to utilise nitrogen sources more effectively and was more tolerant to pH, osmotic and antimicrobial stress. Virulence differences were also observed, with A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T), A. pittii SH024, and A. nosocomialis RUH2624 persisting and forming larger biofilms on human skin than A. calcoaceticus. A. baumannii ATCC 19606 T and A. pittii SH024 were also able to survive in a murine thigh infection model, whereas the other two species were eradicated. The current study provides important insights into the elucidation of differences in clinical relevance among Acinetobacter species

    Differences in Acinetobacter baumannii Strains and Host Innate Immune Response Determine Morbidity and Mortality in Experimental Pneumonia

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    Despite many reports documenting its epidemicity, little is known on the interaction of Acinetobacter baumannii with its host. To deepen our insight into this relationship, we studied persistence of and host response to different A. baumannii strains including representatives of the European (EU) clones I–III in a mouse pneumonia model. Neutropenic mice were inoculated intratracheally with five A. baumannii strains and an A. junii strain and at several days morbidity, mortality, bacterial counts, airway inflammation, and chemo- and cytokine production in lungs and blood were determined. A. baumannii RUH875 and RUH134 (EU clone I and II, respectively) and sporadic strain LUH8326 resulted in high morbidity/mortality, whereas A. baumannii LUH5875 (EU clone III, which is less widespread than clone I and II) caused less symptoms. A. baumannii type strain RUH3023T and A. junii LUH5851 did not cause disease. All strains, except A. baumannii RUH3023T and A. junii LUH5851, survived and multiplied in the lungs for several days. Morbidity and mortality were associated with the severity of lung pathology and a specific immune response characterized by low levels of anti-inflammatory (IL-10) and specific pro-inflammatory (IL-12p40 and IL-23) cytokines at the first day of infection. Altogether, a striking difference in behaviour among the A. baumannii strains was observed with the clone I and II strains being most virulent, whereas the A. baumannii type strain, which is frequently used in virulence studies appeared harmless

    Do Biofilm Formation and Interactions with Human Cells Explain the Clinical Success of Acinetobacter baumannii?

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    BACKGROUND: The dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance and the recent manifestation in war trauma patients underscore the threat of Acinetobacter baumannii as a nosocomial pathogen. Despite numerous reports documenting its epidemicity, little is known about the pathogenicity of A. baumannii. The aim of this study was to obtain insight into the factors that might explain the clinical success of A. baumannii. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared biofilm formation, adherence to and inflammatory cytokine induction by human cells for a large panel of well-described strains of A. baumannii and compared these features to that of other, clinically less relevant Acinetobacter species. Results revealed that biofilm formation and adherence to airway epithelial cells varied widely within the various species, but did not differ among the species. However, airway epithelial cells and cultured human macrophages produced significantly less inflammatory cytokines upon exposure to A. baumannii strains than to strains of A. junii, a species infrequently causing infection. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The induction of a weak inflammatory response may provide a clue to the persistence of A. baumannii in patients
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