Recurrent epidemics of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus illustrate the rapid lapse of antibiotic efficacy following clinical implementation. Over the last decade, community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a dominant cause of infections, and this problem is amplified by the hyper-virulent nature of these isolates. Herein, we report the discovery of a fungal metabolite, apicidin, as an innovative means to counter both resistance and virulence. Owing to its breadth and specificity as a quorum-sensing inhibitor, apicidin antagonizes all MRSA agr systems in a non-biocidal manner. In skin challenge experiments, the apicidin-mediated abatement of MRSA pathogenesis corresponds with quorum-sensing inhibition at in vivo sites of infection. Additionally, we show that apicidin attenuates MRSA-induced disease by potentiating innate effector responses, particularly through enhanced neutrophil accumulation and function at cutaneous challenge sites. Together, these results indicate that apicidin treatment represents a strategy to limit MRSA virulence and promote host defense.
Keywords: MRSA; Staphylococcus aureus; agr; apicidin; natural product; pathogenesis; quorum sensing; skin infection.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.