Sumary of A new culprit in antibacterial resistance: Cysteine persulfide:
- A joint research project based in Kumamoto University, Japan has developed a new, highly sensitive analytical method that can detect degraded β-lactam antibacterial agents used in the treatment of bacterial infections..
- With this method, researchers found that reactive sulfur species produced by bacteria degrade and inactivate β-lactam antibiotics..
- β-lactam antimicrobial agents are very potent because they selectively inhibit bacterial cell wall synthesis and have few side effects on hosts such as humans..
- These antimicrobial agents have a common structure called the β-lactam ring that is essential for inhibiting cell wall development..
- Previous studies have reported that hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which bacteria produce during sulfur metabolism, reduces their susceptibility to antimicrobial agents leading to resistance..
- In this study, researchers examined how this reactive sulfur species is involved in the acquisition of resistance to β-lactam antibiotics..
- They discovered that β-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin G, ampicillin, and meropenem (carbapenem antibiotics) rapidly lose bactericidal activity when exposed to cysteine persulfide but not with hydrogen sulfide..
- A detailed study of the reaction between β-lactam antimicrobial agents and cysteine persulfide revealed that the β-lactam ring, which is essential for bactericidal action, decomposes and a sulfur atom is inserted into part of the ring creating carbothioic acid….