The overuse of antibiotics has led to the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria, which are resistant to various antibiotics. Combination therapies using natural compounds with antibiotics have been found to have synergistic effects against several pathogens. Synergistic natural compounds can potentiate the effects of polymyxins for the treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii infection. Out of 120 types of plant extracts, only Silene armeria extract (SAE) showed a synergistic effect with polymyxin B (PMB) in our fractional inhibitory concentration and time-kill analyses. The survival rate of G. mellonella infected with A. baumannii ATCC 17978 increased following the synergistic treatment. Interestingly, the addition of osmolytes, such as trehalose, canceled the synergistic effect of SAE with PMB; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed 6-bromo-2-naphthol (6B2N) to be a major active compound that exhibited synergistic effects with PMB. Pretreatment with 6B2N made A. baumannii cells more susceptible to PMB exposure in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, indicating that 6B2N exhibits consequential synergistic action with PMB. Moreover, the exposure of 6B2N-treated cells to PMB led to higher membrane leakage and permeability. The present findings provide a promising approach for utilizing plant extracts as adjuvants to reduce the toxicity of PMB in A. baumannii infection.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a Grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (No. 2019R1A2C1088452).
© 2022, The Author(s).
ASJC Scopus subject areas