Synergistic Killing Effect of Synthetic Peptide P20 and Cefotaxime on Methicillin-Resistant Nosocomial Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus

  • Jung, Hyun-Jun (Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Choi, Kyu-Sik (Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Lee, Dong-Gun (Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University)
  • Published : 2005.10.01


The salt resistance of antibacterial activity and synergistic effect with clinically used antibiotic agents are critical factors in developing effective peptide antibiotic drugs. For this reason, we investigated the resistance of antibacterial activity to antagonism induced by NaCl and $MgCl_2$ and the synergistic effect of P20 with cefotaxime. P20 is a 20-residue synthetic peptide derived from a cecropin A (CA)-melittin(ME) hybrid peptide. In this study, P20 was found to have potent antibacterial activity against clinically isolated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains without hemolytic activity against human erythrocytes. The combination study revealed that P20 in combination with cefotaxime showed synergistic antibacterial activity in an energy-dependent manner. We also confirmed the synergism between P20 and cefotaxime by fluorescence-activated flow cytometric analysis by staining bacterial cells with propidium iodide (PI) and bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol (BOX). This study suggests that P20 may be useful as a therapeutic antibiotic peptide with synergistic effect in combination with conventional antibiotic agents.


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