Jangra, M., et al. Tridecaptin M, a new variant discovered in mud bacterium, shows activity against colistin-and extremely drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. Volume 63, Number 6, e00338-19
The World Health Organization has categorized the Gram-negative superbugs, which are inherently impervious to many antibiotics, as critical priority pathogens due to the lack of effective treatments. The breach in our last-resort antibiotic (i.e., colistin) by extensively drug-resistant and pan-drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae strains demands the immediate development of new therapies. In the present study, we report the discovery of tridecaptin M, a new addition to the family, and its potential against colistin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in vitro and in vivo. Also, we performed mode-of-action studies using various fluorescent probes and studied the hemolytic activity and mammalian cytotoxicity in two cell lines. Tridecaptin M displayed strong antibacterial activity (MICs of 2 to 8 μg ml−1) against clinical strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae (which were resistant to colistin, carbapenems, third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, fosfomycin, and other antibiotics) and mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli strains. Unlike polymyxins, tridecaptin M did not permeabilize the outer membrane or cytoplasmic membrane. It blocked ATP synthesis in bacteria by dissipating the proton motive force. The compound exhibited negligible acquired resistance, low in vitro cytotoxicity and hemolytic activity, and no significant acute toxicity in mice. It also showed promising efficacy in a thigh infection model of colistin-resistant K. pneumoniae. Altogether, these results demonstrate the future prospects of this class of antibiotics to address the unmet medical need to circumvent colistin resistance in extensively drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections. The work also emphasizes the importance of natural products in our shrunken drug discovery pipeline.