Metallomics. 2021 Feb 17;13(2):mfaa011. doi: 10.1093/mtomcs/mfaa011.
N-heterocyclic silver carbene compounds have been extensively studied and shown to be active agents against a host of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. By incorporating hypothesized virulence targeting substituents into NHC-silver systems via salt metathesis, an atom-efficient complexation process can be used to develop new complexes to target the passive and active systems of a microbial cell. The incorporation of fatty acids and an FtsZ inhibitor have been achieved, and creation of both the intermediate salt and subsequent silver complex has been streamlined into a continuous flow process. Biological evaluation was conducted with in vitro toxicology assays showing these novel complexes had excellent inhibition against Gram-negative strains E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and K. pneumoniae; further studies also confirmed the ability to inhibit biofilm formation in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and C. Parapsilosis. In vivo testing using a murine thigh infection model showed promising inhibition of MRSA for the lead compound SBC3, which is derived from 1,3-dibenzyl-4,5-diphenylimidazol-2-ylidene (NHC*).