Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.1007/s12223-021-00860-6. Online ahead of print.
The evolution of multiple-drug resistant bacteria is contributing to the global antimicrobial crisis, hence driving us to search for novel antimicrobial(s). Among animals, invertebrates represent up to 80% of all known species suggesting their wide distribution. Despite their ubiquitous and plentiful nature, they have been largely unexplored as potential source of antibacterials. In this study, we selected a broad range of invertebrates from terrestrial and marine environments and tested their lysates for antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aereus (MRSA) and neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1. Cockroaches, centipedes, tarantulas, prawns, lobster, and mud crabs showed antibacterial activity with selected lysates exhibiting more than 90% bactericidal effects. The red-headed centipede's hemolymph showed 90% and 50% bacteriostatic activity against MRSA and E. coli K1, respectively. Tarantula's body extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against MRSA and E. coli K1. Gut extracts of tiger prawn exhibited more than 90% bacteriostatic activity against both bacteria. The selected lobster and mud crab extract exhibited up to 90% growth inhibitory activity against MRSA. Overall, these results showed that selected invertebrates are an untapped source of broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and suggest the presence of biologically active molecules.