Synergy Pattern of Short Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides Against Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  • chair:

    Ruden, S. / Rieder, A. /  Chis Ster, I. / Schwartz, T. /  Mikut, R. / Hilpert, K. (2019)

  • place:

    Front. Microbiol., 2019,

  • Date: November 2019


With the rise of various multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria, worldwide health care is under pressure to respond. Conventional antibiotics are failing and the development of novel classes and alternative strategies is a major priority. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) cannot only kill MDR bacteria, but also can be used synergistically with conventional antibiotics. We selected 30 short AMPs from different origins and measured their synergy in combination with polymyxin B, piperacillin, ceftazidime, cefepime, meropenem, imipenem, tetracycline, erythromycin, kanamycin, tobramycin, amikacin, gentamycin, and ciprofloxacin. In total, 403 unique combinations were tested against an MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate (PA910). As a measure of the synergistic effects, fractional inhibitory concentrations (FICs) were determined using microdilution assays with FICs ranges between 0.25 and 2. A high number of combinations between peptides and polymyxin B, erythromycin, and tetracycline were found to be synergistic. Novel variants of indolicidin also showed a high frequency in synergist interaction. Single amino acid substitutions within the peptides can have a very strong effect on the ability to synergize, making it possible to optimize future drugs toward synergistic interaction.