Tackling Salmonella Persister Cells by Antibiotic–Nisin Combination via Mannitol
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Bacterial persisters (defined as dormant, non-dividing cells with globally reduced metabolism) are the major cause of recurrent infections. As they neither grow nor die in presence of antibiotics, it is difficult to eradicate these cells using antibiotics, even at higher concentrations. Reports of metabolites (which help in waking up of these inactive cells) enabled eradication of bacterial persistence by aminoglycosides, suggest the new potential strategy to improve antibiotic therapy. Here we propose, mannitol enabled elimination of Salmonella persister cells by the nisin–antibiotic combination. For this, persister cells were developed and characterized for their typical properties such as non-replicative state and metabolic dormancy. Different carbon sources viz. glucose, glycerol, and mannitol were used, each as an adjunct to ampicillin for the eradication of persister cells. The maximum (but not complete) killing was observed with mannitol–ampicillin, out of all the combinations used. However, significant elimination (about 78%) could be observed, when nisin (an antimicrobial peptide) was used with ampicillin in presence of mannitol, which might have mediated the transfer of antibiotic–nisin combination at the same time when the cells tried to grab the carbon molecule. Further, the effectiveness of the trio was confirmed by flow cytometry. Overall, our findings highlight the potential of this trio-combination for developing it as an option for tackling Salmonella persister cells.
KeywordsMannitol Nisin Persister cells Salmonella Typhi Trio-combination
Authors are thankful to the Department of Microbiology, Panjab University Chandigarh for providing the facilities to carry out this work. The authors also acknowledge PURSE Grant from Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India, to carry out this work.
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