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Identification and characterization of novel isothiazolones with potent bactericidal activity against multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates

Luna, Breanna L., Garcia, Javier A., Huang, Min, Ewing, Peter J., Valentine, Sonya C., Chu, Yi-Ming, Ye, Qi-Zhuang, Xu, H. Howard
International journal of antimicrobial agents 2019 v.53 no.4 pp. 474-482
Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, antibacterial properties, antibiotics, benzene, cross infection, cytotoxicity, heterocyclic compounds, hospitals, mechanism of action, multiple drug resistance, mutants, pathogens, screening, structure-activity relationships, therapeutics
Acinetobacter baumannii has emerged as a globally important nosocomial pathogen characterized by an increased multi-drug resistance (MDR), leaving limited options for treating its infection. To identify novel antibacterial compounds with activity against clinical isolates of A. baumannii, we performed high-throughput screening against a chemical library of 42,944 compounds using nonpathogenic Escherichia coli MG1655 and identified 55 hit compounds. The antibacterial activities of 30 pure compounds were determined against MDR clinical isolates of A. baumannii obtained from Los Angeles County hospitals. Two isothiazolones identified, 5-chloro-2-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-4-methyl-3(2H)-isothiazolone (Compound 6) and 5-chloro-2-(4-chlorophenyl)-4-methyl-3(2H)-isothiazolone (Compound 7), possess novel structure and exhibited consistent, potent and cidal activity against all 46 MDR A. baumannii clinical isolates and reference strains. Additionally, structure–activity relationship analysis involving several additional isothiazolones supports the link between a chloro-group on the heterocyclic ring or a fused benzene ring and the cidal activity. Attempts to obtain isothiazolone resistant mutants failed, consistent with the rapid cidal action and indicative of a complex mechanism of action. While cytotoxicity was observed with Compound 7, it had a therapeutic index value of 28 suggesting future therapeutic potential. Our results indicate that high-throughput screening of compound libraries followed by in vitro biological evaluations is a viable approach for the discovery of novel antibacterial agents to contribute in the fight against MDR bacterial pathogens.