Propionic acid and its esterified derivative suppress the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300
Previously, we demonstrated that Propionibacterium acnes, a human skin commensal bacterium, ferments glycerol into short-chain fatty acids, including propionic acid. Propionic acid suppressed the growth of Staphylococcus aureus USA300, a community-acquired methicillin-resistant bacterium, in vitro and in vivo. In this study, it is demonstrated that the anti-USA300 activity of propionic acid persisted after buffering the acid with 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1- piperazineethanesulfonic acid. This suggests that the growth suppression of USA300 mainly resulted from the antimicrobial activity of propionic acid per se and not from the acidity of the medium. In addition, proprionic acid significantly reduced the intracellular pH of USA300 and exhibited broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. P. acnes showed a higher tolerance to propionic acid. Next, an esterified derivative of propionic acid was synthesised. Propionic acid and the esterified derivative were equivalent in their efficacy to suppress the growth of USA300 in vitro. The esterified derivative thus provides an alternative to propionic acid as an antimicrobial agent against S. aureus.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2014
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