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Peptide-Conjugated Phosphorodiamidate Morpholino Oligomers Retain Activity against Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa In Vitro and In Vivo

Moustafa DA, Wu AW, Zamora D, Daly SM, Sturge CR, Pybus C, Geller BL, Goldberg JB, Greenberg DE
mBio. 2021;12(1):e02411-20. doi:10.1128/mBio.02411-20
Most antimicrobials currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are considered short-term solutions due to the emergence of resistance. Pseudomonas aeruginosa represents a major challenge for new antimicrobial drug discovery due to its versatile lifestyle, ability to develop resistance to most antibiotic classes, and capacity to form robust biofilms on surfaces and in certain hosts such as those living with cystic fibrosis (CF). A precision antibiotic approach to treating Pseudomonas could be achieved with an antisense method, specifically by using peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PPMOs). Here, we demonstrate that PPMOs targeting acpP (acyl carrier protein), lpxC (UDP-(3-O-acyl)-N-acetylglucosamine deacetylase), and rpsJ (30S ribosomal protein S10) inhibited the in vitro growth of several multidrug-resistant clinical P. aeruginosa isolates at levels equivalent to those that were effective against sensitive strains. Lead PPMOs reduced established pseudomonal biofilms alone or in combination with tobramycin or piperacillin-tazobactam. Lead PPMO dosing alone or combined with tobramycin in an acute pneumonia model reduced lung bacterial burden in treated mice at 24 h and reduced morbidity up to 5 days postinfection. PPMOs reduced bacterial burden of extensively drug-resistant P. aeruginosa in the same model and resulted in superior survival compared to conventional antibiotics. These data suggest that lead PPMOs alone or in combination with clinically relevant antibiotics represent a promising therapeutic approach for combating P. aeruginosa infections.
Organism or Cell Type: 
Pseudomonas aeruginosa as biofilm or murine pneumonial infection
Delivery Method: