The increasing trend of carbapenem-resistant (CRAB) worldwide has become a concern, limiting therapeutic alternatives and increasing morbidity and mortality rates. The immunomodulation agent ammonium trichloro (dioxoethylene-O,O’-) tellurate (AS101) was repurposed as an antimicrobial agent against CRAB. Between 2016 and 2018, 27 CRAB clinical isolates were collected in Taiwan. The in vitro antibacterial activities of AS101 were evaluated using broth microdilution, time-kill assay, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection and electron microscopy. In vivo effectiveness was assessed using a sepsis mouse infection model. The MIC range of AS101 for 27 CRAB isolates was from 0.5 to 32 µg/mL, which is below its 50% cytotoxicity (approximately 150 µg/mL). Bactericidal activity was confirmed using a time-kill assay. The antibacterial mechanism of AS101 was the accumulation of the ROS and the disruption of the cell membrane, which, in turn, results in cell death. The carbapenemase-producing mouse sepsis model showed that AS101 was a better therapeutic effect than colistin. The mice survival rate after 120 h was 33% (4/12) in the colistin-treated group and 58% (7/12) in the high-dose AS101 (3.33 mg/kg/day) group. Furthermore, high-dose AS101 significantly decreased bacterial population in the liver, kidney and spleen (all < 0.001). These findings support the concept that AS101 is an ideal candidate for further testing in future studies.
About The Expert
Heather Nokulunga Dlamini