PeerJ. 2021 Mar 30;9:e11059. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11059. eCollection 2021.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are a serious public health threat and a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics recommended for the treatment of enterococcal infections complicates the management of these infections. Hence, there is a critical need for the discovery of new anti-VRE agents. We previously reported carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) as new potent VRE inhibitors. In the present study, the activity of the CAI, dorzolamide was evaluated against VRE both in vitro and in vivo. Dorzolamide exhibited potent activity against a panel of clinical VRE isolates, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 1 µg/mL to 8 µg/mL. A killing kinetics experiment determined that dorzolamide exhibited a bacteriostatic effect against VRE, which was similar to the drug of choice (linezolid). Dorzolamide interacted synergistically with gentamicin against four strains of VRE, and exhibited an additive interaction with gentamicin against six VRE strains, reducing gentamicin's MIC by several folds. Moreover, dorzolamide outperformed linezolid in an in vivo VRE colonization reduction mouse model. Dorzolamide significantly reduced the VRE burden in fecal samples of mice by 2.9-log10 (99.9%) and 3.86-log10 (99.99%) after 3 and 5 days of treatment, respectively. Furthermore, dorzolamide reduced the VRE count in the cecal (1.74-log10 (98.2%) reduction) and ileal contents (1.5-log10 (96.3%)) of mice, which was superior to linezolid. Collectively, these results indicate that dorzolamide represents a promising treatment option that warrants consideration as a supplement to current therapeutics used for VRE infections.