Prep Biochem Biotechnol. 2021 Jul 21:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10826068.2021.1944201. Online ahead of print.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a major global health problem, and novel and effective antimicrobial drugs are urgently required to combat this life-threatening pathogen. Prodigiosin (PG) is a bacterial secondary metabolite with excellent anticancer and antibacterial properties. However, little is known about the antibacterial function of PG against MRSA. Therefore, the antibacterial efficacy of PG alone and PG in combination with different metal ions against clinic isolates of MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) strain was evaluated in the present study. The minimum inhibitory concentration of PG against both MRSA and MSSA was 0.25 μg/mL. However, 0.1 μg/mL PG showed a stronger inhibitory effect on MSSA cell growth (47.12%) than on MRSA cell growth (35.87%). Surprisingly, we observed a significant difference (p < 0.01) in membrane integrity between PG-treated MRSA and MSSA using the propidium iodide staining assay. Further, we found that in combination with PG, Zn2+, Al3+, and Cu2+ showed synergistic antibacterial effects against MRSA and MSSA. Our results could increase the current knowledge regarding the efficacy of PG in inhibiting the growth of different types of S. aureus clinical isolates and also offer a novel strategy for developing efficient antibacterial agents.