Objectives: P128 is a recombinant chimeric ectolysin with potent antistaphylococcal activity. P128 was evaluated as monotherapy and in combination with two standard-of-care (SoC) antibiotics, vancomycin and daptomycin, in mouse models of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia.
Methods: Healthy BALB/c mice were challenged (intraperitoneally) with 109 cfu of MRSA strain COL or USA300 and treated with a single dose of P128 (0.2-10 mg/kg). Drug synergy was tested using a single dose of P128 (0.2 or 2.5 mg/kg) along with sub-therapeutic dose levels of vancomycin (27.5 or 55 mg/kg) or daptomycin (12.5 mg/kg). Bacterial load was checked in peritoneal fluid and in blood, at different time intervals. Synergy against drug-resistant strains was tested using the P128/vancomycin combination against vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA).
Results: In MRSA bacteraemia, P128, vancomycin and daptomycin monotherapy resulted in 31%, 46% and 46% survival, respectively. The P128/vancomycin and P128/daptomycin combinations afforded increased survival of 85% and 88%, respectively. P128 showed a rapid bactericidal effect with a reduction of cfu in both the peritoneal fluid and the blood within 1 h. In VRSA bacteraemia, a mouse-equivalent therapeutic dose of vancomycin (110 mg/kg) failed to rescue animals. P128 (1-20 mg/kg) as monotherapy resulted in dose-dependent efficacy. Survival (37%) with 2.5 mg/kg P128 increased to 63% with the P128/vancomycin combination.
Conclusions: P128 exerted a rapid bactericidal effect in vivo and rescued animals from fatal invasive MRSA and VRSA infections. P128/SoC antibiotic combinations exerted a synergistic effect. P128 restored the susceptibility of VRSA to vancomycin. P128 is a novel, potent therapeutic agent for antibiotic-resistant, systemic S. aureus infections.