Repurposing Screen Identifies Unconventional Drugs With Activity Against Multidrug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.
ABSTRACT: Antibiotic-resistant nosocomial infections are an emerging public health issue; carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii are among the pathogens against which new therapeutic agents are desperately needed. Drug repurposing has recently emerged as an alternative approach to rapidly identifying effective drugs and drug combinations to combat drug resistant bacteria. We performed a drug repurposing screen against a highly virulent, multidrug resistant, Acinetobacter baumannii strain AB5075. This strain, isolated from a patient, is resistant to 25 first-line antibiotics for gram-negative bacteria. A compound screen using a bacterial growth assay led to identification and confirmation of 43 active compounds. Among these confirmed compounds, seven are approved drugs or pharmacologically active compounds for non-antimicrobial indications. Three of these drugs, 5-fluorouracil, fluspirilene, and Bay 11-7082 resensitized strain AB5075 to azithromycin and colistin in a two-drug combination format. The approach using a drug repurposing screen with a pathogen sample isolated from a patient and a high throughput bacterial growth assay led to the successful identification of new drug combinations to overcome a multidrug resistant bacterial infection.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is responsible for 10% of all nosocomial infections and has >50% mortality rates when causing ventilator-associated pneumonia. In this proof-of-concept study, we evaluated SPR741, an antibiotic adjuvant that permeabilizes the Gram-negative membrane, in combination with rifampin against AB5075, an extensively drug-resistant (XDR) A. baumannii strain. In standard in vitro assays and in a murine pulmonary model, we found that this drug combination can significantly reduce bacterial burden and promote animal survival despite an aggressive infection.
Project description:Current antimicrobial susceptibility testing has limited screening capability for identifying empirical antibiotic combinations to treat severe bacterial infections with multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms. We developed a new antimicrobial susceptibility assay using automated ultra-high-throughput screen technology in combination with a simple bacterial growth assay. A rapid screening of 5170 approved drugs and other compounds identified 25 compounds with activities against MDR Klebsiella pneumoniae. To further improve the efficacy and reduce the effective drug concentrations, we applied a targeted drug combination approach that integrates drugs' clinical antimicrobial susceptibility breakpoints, achievable plasma concentrations, clinical toxicities and mechanisms of action to identify optimal drug combinations. Three sets of three-drug combinations were identified with broad-spectrum activities against 10 MDR clinical isolates including K. pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae and Escherichia coli. Colistin-auranofin-ceftazidime and colistin-auranofin-rifabutin suppressed >80% growth of all 10 MDR strains; while rifabutin-colistin-imipenem inhibited >75% of these strains except two Acinetobacter baumannii isolates. The results demonstrate this new assay has potential as a real-time method to identify new drugs and effective drug combinations to combat severe clinical infections with MDR organisms.
Project description:<i>Acinetobacter baumannii</i> strain AB5075 forms two cell types distinguished by their opaque (VIR-O) or translucent (AV-T) colonies. VIR-O cells possess a thicker capsule and are more resistant to a variety of stressors than AV-T cells. However, the direct role of the capsule in these stressors was unknown. This study demonstrates that the capsule is required for resistance to disinfectants, lysozyme, and desiccation in <i>Acinetobacter baumannii</i> In addition, the capsule is required for survival in a mouse lung model of infection.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>The increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens represents a serious risk to human health and the entire health care system. Many currently circulating strains of Acinetobacter baumannii exhibit resistance to multiple antibiotics. A key limitation in combating A. baumannii is that our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of A. baumannii is lacking. To identify potential virulence determinants of a contemporary multidrug-resistant isolate of A. baumannii, we used transposon insertion sequencing (TnSeq) of strain AB5075. A collection of 250,000 A. baumannii transposon mutants was analyzed for growth within Galleria mellonella larvae, an insect-based infection model. The screen identified 300 genes that were specifically required for survival and/or growth of A. baumannii inside G. mellonella larvae. These genes encompass both known, established virulence factors and several novel genes. Among these were more than 30 transcription factors required for growth in G. mellonella. A subset of the transcription factors was also found to be required for resistance to antibiotics and environmental stress. This work thus establishes a novel connection between virulence and resistance to both antibiotics and environmental stress in A. baumannii.<h4>Importance</h4>Acinetobacter baumannii is rapidly emerging as a significant human pathogen, largely because of disinfectant and antibiotic resistance, causing lethal infection in fragile hosts. Despite the increasing prevalence of infections with multidrug-resistant A. baumannii strains, little is known regarding not only the molecular mechanisms that allow A. baumannii to resist environmental stresses (i.e., antibiotics and disinfectants) but also how these pathogens survive within an infected host to cause disease. We employed a large-scale genetic screen to identify genes required for A. baumannii to survive and grow in an insect disease model. While we identified many known virulence factors harbored by A. baumannii, we also discovered many novel genes that likely play key roles in A. baumannii survival of exposure to antibiotics and other stress-inducing chemicals. These results suggest that selection for increased resistance to antibiotics and environmental stress may inadvertently select for increased virulence in A. baumannii.
Project description:In order to mitigate antibiotic resistance, a new strategy to increase antibiotic potency and reverse drug resistance is needed. Herein, the translocation mechanism of an antimicrobial guanidinium-functionalized polycarbonate is leveraged in combination with traditional antibiotics to afford a potent treatment for drug-resistant bacteria. Particularly, this polymer-antibiotic combination approach reverses rifampicin resistance phenotype in Acinetobacter baumannii demonstrating a 2.5 × 105-fold reduction in minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and a 4096-fold reduction in minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC). This approach also enables the repurposing of auranofin as an antibiotic against multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria with a 512-fold MIC and 128-fold MBC reduction, respectively. Finally, the in vivo efficacy of polymer-rifampicin combination is demonstrated in a MDR bacteremia mouse model. This combination approach lays foundational ground rules for a new class of antibiotic adjuvants capable of reversing drug resistance phenotype and repurposing drugs against MDR Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:The nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is a frequent cause of hospital-acquired infections worldwide and is a challenge for treatment due to its evolved resistance to antibiotics, including carbapenems. Here, to gain insight on A. baumannii antibiotic resistance mechanisms, we analyse the protein interaction network of a multidrug-resistant A. baumannii clinical strain (AB5075). Using in vivo chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry, we identify 2,068 non-redundant cross-linked peptide pairs containing 245 intra- and 398 inter-molecular interactions. Outer membrane proteins OmpA and YiaD, and carbapenemase Oxa-23 are hubs of the identified interaction network. Eighteen novel interactors of Oxa-23 are identified. Interactions of Oxa-23 with outer membrane porins OmpA and CarO are verified with co-immunoprecipitation analysis. Furthermore, transposon mutagenesis of oxa-23 or interactors of Oxa-23 demonstrates changes in meropenem or imipenem sensitivity in strain AB5075. These results provide a view of porin-localized antibiotic inactivation and increase understanding of bacterial antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is recognized as an emerging bacterial pathogen because of traits such as prolonged survival in a desiccated state, effective nosocomial transmission, and an inherent ability to acquire antibiotic resistance genes. A pressing need in the field of A. baumannii research is a suitable model strain that is representative of current clinical isolates, is highly virulent in established animal models, and can be genetically manipulated. To identify a suitable strain, a genetically diverse set of recent U.S. military clinical isolates was assessed. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multiplex PCR determined the genetic diversity of 33 A. baumannii isolates. Subsequently, five representative isolates were tested in murine pulmonary and Galleria mellonella models of infection. Infections with one strain, AB5075, were considerably more severe in both animal models than those with other isolates, as there was a significant decrease in survival rates. AB5075 also caused osteomyelitis in a rat open fracture model, while another isolate did not. Additionally, a Tn5 transposon library was successfully generated in AB5075, and the insertion of exogenous genes into the AB5075 chromosome via Tn7 was completed, suggesting that this isolate may be genetically amenable for research purposes. Finally, proof-of-concept experiments with the antibiotic rifampin showed that this strain can be used in animal models to assess therapies under numerous parameters, including survival rates and lung bacterial burden. We propose that AB5075 can serve as a model strain for A. baumannii pathogenesis due to its relatively recent isolation, multidrug resistance, reproducible virulence in animal models, and genetic tractability.The incidence of A. baumannii infections has increased over the last decade, and unfortunately, so has antibiotic resistance in this bacterial species. A. baumannii is now responsible for more than 10% of all hospital-acquired infections in the United States and has a >50% mortality rate in patients with sepsis and pneumonia. Most research on the pathogenicity of A. baumannii focused on isolates that are not truly representative of current multidrug-resistant strains isolated from patients. After screening of a panel of isolates in different in vitro and in vivo assays, the strain AB5075 was selected as more suitable for research because of its antibiotic resistance profile and increased virulence in animal models. Moreover, AB5075 is susceptible to tetracycline and hygromycin, which makes it amenable to genetic manipulation. Taken together, these traits make AB5075 a good candidate for use in studying virulence and pathogenicity of this species and testing novel antimicrobials.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Surgical resection and conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy ultimately fail due to tumor recurrence and HCC's resistance. The development of novel therapies against HCC is thus urgently required. The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) pathways are important and well-established targets for cancer treatment. In particular, CDK2 is a key factor regulating the cell cycle G1 to S transition and a hallmark for cancers. In this study, we utilized our free and open-source protein-ligand docking software, idock, prospectively to identify potential CDK2 inhibitors from 4,311 FDA-approved small molecule drugs using a repurposing strategy and an ensemble docking methodology. Sorted by average idock score, nine compounds were purchased and tested in vitro. Among them, the anti-psychotic drug fluspirilene exhibited the highest anti-proliferative effect in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 and Huh7 cells. We demonstrated for the first time that fluspirilene treatment significantly increased the percentage of cells in G1 phase, and decreased the expressions of CDK2, cyclin E and Rb, as well as the phosphorylations of CDK2 on Thr160 and Rb on Ser795. We also examined the anti-cancer effect of fluspirilene in vivo in BALB/C nude mice subcutaneously xenografted with human hepatocellular carcinoma Huh7 cells. Our results showed that oral fluspirilene treatment significantly inhibited tumor growth. Fluspirilene (15 mg/kg) exhibited strong anti-tumor activity, comparable to that of the leading cancer drug 5-fluorouracil (10 mg/kg). Moreover, the cocktail treatment with fluspirilene and 5-fluorouracil exhibited the highest therapeutic effect. These results suggested for the first time that fluspirilene is a potential CDK2 inhibitor and a candidate anti-cancer drug for the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma. In view of the fact that fluspirilene has a long history of safe human use, our discovery of fluspirilene as a potential anti-HCC drug may present an immediately applicable clinical therapy.
Project description:Earlier, we reported that three Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, trifluoperazine (TFP; an antipsychotic), amoxapine (AXPN; an antidepressant), and doxapram (DXP; a breathing stimulant), identified from an in vitro murine macrophage cytotoxicity screen, provided mice with 40 to 60% protection against pneumonic plague when administered at the time of infection for 1 to 3 days. In the present study, the therapeutic potential of these drugs against pneumonic plague in mice was further evaluated when they were administered at up to 48 h postinfection. While the efficacy of TFP was somewhat diminished as treatment was delayed to 24 h, the protection of mice with AXPN and DXP increased as treatment was progressively delayed to 24 h. At 48 h postinfection, these drugs provided the animals with significant protection (up to 100%) against challenge with the agent of pneumonic or bubonic plague when they were administered in combination with levofloxacin. Likewise, when they were used in combination with vancomycin, all three drugs provided mice with 80 to 100% protection from fatal oral Clostridium difficile infection when they were administered at 24 h postinfection. Furthermore, AXPN provided 40 to 60% protection against respiratory infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae when it was administered at the time of infection or at 24 h postinfection. Using the same in vitro cytotoxicity assay, we identified an additional 76/780 nonantibiotic drugs effective against K. pneumoniae For Acinetobacter baumannii, 121 nonantibiotic drugs were identified to inhibit bacterium-induced cytotoxicity in murine macrophages. Of these 121 drugs, 13 inhibited the macrophage cytotoxicity induced by two additional multiple-antibiotic-resistant strains. Six of these drugs decreased the intracellular survival of all three A. baumannii strains in macrophages. These results provided further evidence of the broad applicability and utilization of drug repurposing screening to identify new therapeutics to combat multidrug-resistant pathogens of public health concern.
Project description:Cefiderocol (CFDC) is a novel chlorocatechol-substituted siderophore approved to treat complicated urinary tract infections and for hospital-acquired and ventilator-acquired pneumonia. In previous work, human fluids, were shown to increase the minimum inhibitory concentration (MICs) of Acinetobacter baumannii against CFDC and reduce the expression of genes related to iron uptake systems, which could explain the need for higher concentrations of CFDC to exert inhibitory action. Herein, we analyzed the impact of human urine (HU), which contains low albumin concentrations, on the expression of iron-uptake related genes and MIC values of two carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii. Levels of resistance to CFDC were not modified by HU in strain AMA40 but were reduced in the case of strain AB5075. Testing other carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates showed that the CFDC MICs were unmodified or reduced in the presence of HU. The expression of piuA, pirA, bauA, and bfnH determined by qRT-PCR was enhanced in both strains when HU was present in the culture medium. All four tested genes are involved in recognizing ferric siderophore complexes or internalization into the cell’s cytosol. In contrast, the effect of HU on genes associated with resistance to β-lactams, antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary tract infections caused by A. baumannii, was variable; the transcriptional analysis of pbp1, pbp3, blaOXA-51-like, blaADC, and blaNDM-1 showed significant variation. In summary, HU, probably due to the albumin and free iron content, does not adversely impact or slightly improves the activity of CFDC when tested against A. baumannii in urine in contrast to other human bodily fluids. Overall design: Total mRNA of Acinetobacter baumanii AB5075 or Acinetobacter baumannii AMA40 was isolated from bacteria incubated in Mueller Hinton medium with or without 50% human urine