A novel class of antimicrobials that inhibits the function of a key disease-causing component of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the major drug-resistant bacterial pathogens, according to researchers at Georgia State University.
Their study showed that small molecule analogs that target the functions of SecA, a central part of the general bacterial secretion system required for viability and virulence, have potent antimicrobial activities, reduce the secretion of toxins and can overcome the effect of efflux pumps, which are responsible for multi-drug resistance.
Their findings indicate that targeting SecA is an attractive antimicrobial strategy against MRSA and may be several times more effective than the antibiotics now available for treating the infection.
MRSA causes serious hospital and community-acquired infections. Healthcare-associated MRSA infections are typically linked to invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints. Community-acquired MRSA often begins as a skin boil and is spread by skin-to-skin contact. Individuals at risk include competitive wrestlers, child care workers and those living in crowded conditions.
"We've found that SecA inhibitors are broad-spectrum antimicrobials and are very effective against strains of bacteria that are resistant to existing antibiotics," said Binghe Wang, Regents' Professor of Chemistry at Georgia State, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Drug Discovery and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar. He co-led the study with Phang C. Tai, Regents' Professor of Biology at Georgia State, who is an expert on the functions of SecA in bacteria. Their findings were published in the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry in November.