Compounds Discovered in Sea Sponge Kill Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria


With information from the Fapesp Agency

USP researchers have identified substances never before seen in a species found in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, substances that have been shown to eliminate antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
[Imagem: Vtor F. Freire et al. – 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.2c00094]

antibiotic resistance

Researchers at USP de So Carlos have identified a series of bioactive compounds in a marine sponge collected from the Fernando de Noronha archipelago in Pernambuco.

Some of these substances have been shown to kill bacteria that are resistant to currently available antibiotics, paving the way for the development of new drugs.

“This marine sponge had already been studied before by groups from abroad, mainly in the 1990s. We then used modern techniques to evaluate substances in its secondary metabolism, search for new molecules and test its biological activity. We were able to describe a series of new compounds The greatest potential was found against bacteria resistant to current antibiotics,” explains researcher Vtor Freire.

A antibiotic resistance considered one of major global public health issues by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to a report commissioned by the British government, deaths from infections with resistant bacteria are expected to reach 10 million people a year by 2050.

Hence the importance of discovering new effective antibiotics.

sea ​​sponge antibiotics

The marine sponge, of the species Agelas dispar, occurs in the Caribbean and on part of the Brazilian coast. Because they are among the oldest living organisms on Earth and live attached to the marine substrate, sea sponges have developed a complex metabolism over millions of years, producing essential substances to compete with other invertebrates and avoid infections with pathogenic bacteria. .

The substances with the greatest therapeutic potential identified today are three different types of ageliferins, named after the genus of sea sponges. Agelas.

“Another important factor is the ability of sponges to store substances from symbiotic microorganisms, which also helps them to defend themselves. Therefore, when we analyze the compounds found in these animals, it is not always possible to know what was produced by them and what is the product of their microbiota”, explains Professor Roberto Berlinck.

The group’s goal is now to analyze other marine sponges with the same methodology used to discover the new compounds.

“It is extremely important to study how these substances are produced, because they are distributed in certain classes of sponges and could help treat diseases in the future,” Vtor said.

Check with the scientific article:

Article: Discovery of molecular networks based on bromopyrrole alkaloid functionalities from the marine sponge Agelas dispar
Authors: Vtor F. Freire, Juliana R. Gubiani, Tara M. Spencer, Eduardo Hajdu, Antonio G. Ferreira, Dayana AS Ferreira, Erica V. de Castro Levatti, Joanna E. Burdette, Carlos Henrique Camargo, Andre G. Tempone, Robert G.S. Berlinck
Publication: Natural Products Journal
Flight. : 85.5, 1340-1350
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.2c00094

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