Zobi Research Group has recently published a new article in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, entitled "Combatting AMR: A molecular approach to the discovery of potentand non-toxic rhenium complexes active against C.albicans-MRSA co-infection".
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major emerging threat to public health, causing serious issues in the successful prevention and treatment of persistent diseases. While the problem escalates, lack of financial incentive has lead major pharmaceutical companies to interrupt their antibiotic drug discovery programs. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for novel solutions outside the traditional development pathway, with emphasis on new classes of active compounds with non-classical mechanisms of action. Metal complexes are an untapped source of antibiotic potential owing to unique modes of action and a wider range of three-dimensional geometries as compared to purely organic compounds. In this study, we present the antimicrobial and antifungal efficacy of a family of rhenium tricarbonyl diimine complexes with varying ligands, charge and lipophilicity. Our study allowed the identification of potent and non-toxic complexes active in vivo against S. aureus infections at MIC doses as low as 300 ng/mL, as well as against C. albicans-MRSA mixed co-infection. The compounds are capable of suppressing the C. albicans morphogenetic yeast-to-hyphal transition, eradicating fungal-S. aureus co-infection, while showing no sign of cardio-, hepato-, hematotoxiciy or teratogenicity.