With the widespread appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, there is an increasing demand for novel strategies to control infectious diseases. Furthermore, it has become apparent that the bacterial life style also contributes significantly to this problem. Bacteria living in the biofilm mode of growth tolerate conventional antimicrobial treatments. The discovery that many bacteria use quorum-sensing (QS) systems to coordinate virulence and biofilm development has pointed out a new, promising target for antimicrobial drugs. We constructed a collection of screening systems, QS inhibitor (QSI) selectors, which enabled us to identify a number of novel QSIs among natural and synthetic compound libraries. The two most active were garlic extract and 4-nitro-pyridine-N-oxide (4-NPO). GeneChip-based transcriptome analysis revealed that garlic extract and 4-NPO had specificity for QS-controlled virulence genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These two QSIs also significantly reduced P. aeruginosa biofilm tolerance to tobramycin treatment as well as virulence in a Caenorhabditis elegans pathogenesis model.
Keywords: 4-Butyrolactone; Animals; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Biofilms; Caenorhabditis elegans; Computer Simulation; Down-Regulation; Drug Resistance, Bacterial; Garlic; Microbial Sensitivity Tests; Plant Extracts; Plants, Medicinal; Pseudomonas aeruginosa