Orientia tsutsugamushi is highly susceptible to the RNA polymerase switch region inhibitor Corallopyronin A in vitro and in vivo
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy | 24 Jan 2018
F Kock, M Hauptmann, A Osterloh, TF Schäberle, S Poppert, H Frickmann, KD Menzel, G Peschel, K Pfarr, A Schiefer, GM König, A Hoerauf, B Fleischer and C Keller
Scrub typhus is a potentially lethal infection caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Orientia (O.) tsutsugamushi Reports on the emergence of doxycycline-resistant strains highlight the urgent need to develop novel anti-infectives against scrub typhus.Corallopyronin A (CorA) is a novel α-pyrone compound synthesized by the myxobacterium Corallococcus coralloides and was characterized as a non-competitive inhibitor of the “switch region” of bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). We investigated the antimicrobial action of CorA against the human-pathogenic Karp strain of O. tsutsugamushi in vitro and in vivo The minimal inhibitory concentration of CorA against O. tsutsugamushi was remarkably low (0.0078 μg/ml), 16-fold lower compared to Rickettsia (R.) typhi In the lethal intraperitoneal O. tsutsugamushi mouse infection model, a minimum daily dose of 100 μg CorA protected 100% of infected mice. Two days of treatment were sufficient to confer protection. In contrast to BALB/c mice, SCID mice succumbed to the infection despite CorA or tetracycline treatment, suggesting that antimicrobial treatment required synergistic action of the adaptive immune response. Similar to tetracycline, CorA did not prevent latent infection of O. tsutsugamushi in vivo However, latency was not caused by acquisition of antimicrobial resistance, since O. tsutsugamushi reisolated from latently infected BALB/c mice remained fully susceptible to CorA. No mutations were found in the CorA binding regions of the beta and beta' RNAP subunit genes rpoB and rpoCInhibition of the RNAP switch region of O. tsutsugamushi by CorA is therefore a novel and highly potent target for antimicrobial therapy of scrub typhus.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com