Sub lethal levels of #platinum #nanoparticle cures #plasmid and in combination with #carbapenem, curtails carbapenem resistant #Escherichia coli (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | OPEN | Published: 28 March 2019

Sub lethal levels of platinum nanoparticle cures plasmid and in combination with carbapenem, curtails carbapenem resistant Escherichia coli

Subhashree Bharathan, Niranjana Sri Sundaramoorthy, Harini Chandrasekaran, Gagana Rangappa, GaneshPrasad ArunKumar, Siva Bala Subramaniyan, Anbazhagan Veerappan & Saisubramanian Nagarajan

Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 5305 (2019)



Drug resistance traits are rapidly disseminated across bacteria by horizontal gene transfer, especially through plasmids. Plasmid curing agents that are active both in vitro and in vivo will resensitize Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) bacteria to antimicrobial agents. Pectin capped platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) at sub MIC (20 µM) concentration was effective, in causing loss of Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) harboring plasmid as evidenced by, absence of plasmid in agarose gel and by a concomitant (16–64 fold) drop in MIC for cell wall inhibitors ceftriaxone and meropenem, in carbapenem resistant Escherichia coli(CREC). Interestingly, the plasmid cured strain exhibited small colony morphology and displayed slower growth both in vitro and in vivo. Complementation of cured strain with plasmid from the wild type strain restored resistance towards meropenem and ceftriaxone. Relative to wild type, plasmid cured strain displayed 50% reduction in biofilm formation. Plasmid curing also occurred in vivo in infected zebrafish with curing efficiency of 17% for nanoparticle + meropenem treatment. PtNPs + meropenem reduced bioburden of CREC in infected zebrafish by 2.4 log CFU. Mechanistic studies revealed that nanoparticle interacted with cell surface and perturbed inner membrane integrity. PtNPs did not induce ROS, yet it caused plasmid DNA cleavage, as evidenced by gyrase inhibition assay. Our study for the first time reveals that PtNPs as plasmid curing agent can resensitize MDR bacteria to selective antimicrobial agents in vivo.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Carbapenem; Ceftriaxone; Meropenem; E. Coli.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.