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Synthetic Fatty Acids Prevent Plasmid-Mediated Horizontal Gene Transfer

AuthorsGetino, María; Sanabria-Ríos, David J.; Fernández-López, Raul; Campos-Gómez, Javier; Sánchez-López, José M.; Fernández, Antonio; Carballeira, Néstor M.; Cruz, Fernando de la
Issue Date1-Sep-2015
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationmBio 6(5): e01032-15 (2015)
AbstractBacterial conjugation constitutes a major horizontal gene transfer mechanism for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes among human pathogens. Antibiotic resistance spread could be halted or diminished by molecules that interfere with the conjugation process. In this work, synthetic 2-alkynoic fatty acids were identified as a novel class of conjugation inhibitors. Their chemical properties were investigated by using the prototype 2-hexadecynoic acid and its derivatives. Essential features of effective inhibitors were the carboxylic group, an optimal long aliphatic chain of 16 carbon atoms, and one unsaturation. Chemical modification of these groups led to inactive or less-active derivatives. Conjugation inhibitors were found to act on the donor cell, affecting a wide number of pathogenic bacterial hosts, including Escherichia, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter spp. Conjugation inhibitors were active in inhibiting transfer of IncF, IncW, and IncH plasmids, moderately active against IncI, IncL/M, and IncX plasmids, and inactive against IncP and IncN plasmids. Importantly, the use of 2-hexadecynoic acid avoided the spread of a derepressed IncF plasmid into a recipient population, demonstrating the feasibility of abolishing the dissemination of antimicrobial resistances by blocking bacterial conjugation.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01032-15
Appears in Collections:(IBBTEC) Artículos
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