Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants Used In Hispanic Traditional Medicine Can Decrease Quorum Sensing Dependent Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Summary: Inhibition of quorum sensing (QS), a cell density dependent regulation of bacterial virulent gene expression by autoinducers (AI) is an attractive strategy for the discovery of novel antimicrobials and overcome antibiotic resistance. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1), an opportunistic pathogen in immune compromised patients is under the regulation of the LasR-RhlR system for its QS mediated development of virulence. Natural products have recently become a promising source for deriving molecules that can potentially inhibit quorum sensing. Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants (HSMP) used in Hispanic cultures have been used for treating common ailments for many centuries. However, few studies have investigated its QS related antivirulent activities. Our objective was to determine the ability of 25 popular Hispanic HSMP on the expression of QS regulated virulence factors in PAO1. Effect of these extracts on QS mediated PAO1 virulent factors pyocyanin, elastase, and total proteolytic activity were quantified by standard protocols. Results indicated that several extracts reduced pyocyanin synthesis, with some extracts completely inhibiting its formation and secretion. The extracts that decreased the pyocyanin formation also decreased the expression and activity of elastase and other proteolytic enzymes important for the virulence. We observed that HSMP from Central/South American countries can inhibit QS dependent and independent virulent processes in PA-O1. Further research into the exact mechanism of action can lead to better understanding and discovery of new category of drugs and strategies for the management of PAO1 infections and antimicrobial resistance.
Industrial relevance: Quorum sensing is an important process involved in bacterial survival and infections, recent research has focused on the development of therapeutic agents which prevent or manage bacterial pathogenesis by inhibiting bacterial QS. Inhibition of quorum sensing offers an alternative to antibiotic mediated bactericidal or bacteristatic approach and reduces the risk for development of resistance. Inhibition of bacterial quorum sensing by attenuating the signals can prevent the development of bacterial virulence and successful establishment of infections. Understanding the quorum sensing inhibition activity of natural bioactive phytochemicals can lead to the discovery of novel compounds and development of more effective strategies in preventing and managing microbial infections.
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