Discoverers: A team of scientist led by Andreas Peschel at University of Tubingen, Germany.
Summary of the work:
Lugdunin, an antibiotic produced by Staphylococcus lugdunensis, a bacterium found in human nasal swab has been found to effective against many pathogenic bacteria especially potentially dangerous drug-resistant forms such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Many bacterial species including Staphylococcus are found in the human nose, but the presence of pathogenic S.aureus inhibits the growth of other bacterial species.
Screening of Staphylococcus species of nasal swabs for antimicrobial activity against S. aureus
- In vitro microbial culture studies
- In vivo studies in mice and cotton rats
- Compound identification: NMR spectra of the natural product lugdunin.
- Structure elucidation by multistage tandem and electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry
- Clinical studies using nasal swabs of 187 hospitalized patients
- Staphylococcus lugdunensis bacterial strain significantly inhibits the growth of S. aureus in culture studies, in vivo and also in clinical studies
- On further study of nasal S. lugdunensis, the team identified the compound that prohibits colonization by S. aureus and called it lugdunin
- Structural elucidation revealed that the compound is a thiazolidine-containing cyclic peptide, first known example of peptide antibiotic
- Lugdunin is effective against many pathogenic bacterial strains.
- S. aureus infected mice, when treated with Lugdunin for 24, 30 and 42 hours proved to be very effective in clearing all viable S. aureus from the surface and deeper layers of the skin
- S. aureus and S. lugdunensis were introduced into the cotton rat nose and found out that lugdunin of S. lugdunensis effectively prohibits the colonization of S. aureus
- Clinical studies: The nasal swabs of 187 hospitalized patients were tested for the presence of S. aureus and S. lugdunensis. The presence of S. lugdunensis significantly lowered (nearly six times) the colonization of S. aureus compared to the patients with S. aureus alone.
Lugdunin is bactericidal against many major pathogenic bacterial strains and not prone to causing development of resistance in S. aureus. The results suggest that lugdunin or lugdunin-producing commensals* could be valuable for preventing staphylococcal infections.
*Commensalism: relationship between two organisms where one receives a benefit or benefits from the other and the other is not affected by it.
Zipperer A, Konnerth M, Laux C, Berscheid A, Janek D, Weidenmaier ,5, Burian M, Schilling N, Slavetinsky C, Marschal M, Willmann M, Kalbacher H, Schittek B, Brötz-Oesterhelt H, Grond S, Peschel A, Krismer B. “Human commensals producing a novel antibiotic impair pathogen colonization”. Nature. 2016 Jul 27;535(7613):511-6. doi: 10.1038/nature18634.