Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Apr 4;219:113402. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113402. Online ahead of print.
A collection of potent antimicrobials consisting of novel 1,3-bis-benzoic acid and trifluoromethyl phenyl derived pyrazoles has been synthesized and tested for antibacterial activity. The majority of trifluoromethyl phenyl derivatives are highly potent growth inhibitors of Gram-positive bacteria and showed low toxicity to human cultured cells. In particular, two compounds (59 and 74) were selected for additional studies. These compounds are highly effective against Staphylococcus aureus as shown by a low minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), a bactericidal effect in time-kill assays, moderate inhibition of biofilm formation as well as biofilm destruction, and a bactericidal effect against stationary phase cells representing non-growing persister cells. Multistep resistance assays showed a very low tendency for S. aureus and Enterococcus faecalis to develop resistance through mutation. Additionally, in vivo mouse model studies showed no harmful effects at doses up to 50 mg/kg using 14 blood plasma organ toxicity markers or TUNEL assay in liver and kidney. Investigations into the mode of action by performing macromolecular synthesis inhibition studies showed a broad range of inhibitory effects, suggesting targets that have a global effect on bacterial cell function.