The first wide-scale drug repurposing screen using the Prestwick Chemical Library (1200 bioactive molecules) against Neisseria gonorrhoeae identifies high in vitro activity of auranofin and many additional drugs.
APMIS. 2019 Dec 07;:
Authors: Foerster S, Gustafsson TN, Rita Brochado A, Desilvestro V, Typas A, Unemo M
Treatment options for gonorrhoea are scarce. Drug repurposing of bioactive molecules approved for other conditions might therefore be of value. We developed a method for wide-scale, systematic drug repurposing screen to identify molecules with activity against Neisseria gonorrhoeae and screened the Prestwick Chemical Library (1200 FDA-approved drugs). As a proof-of-concept, we further examined one promising and interesting screening hit (auranofin; antirheumatic agent). Three WHO gonococcal reference strains (WHO F, O, P) were used for the Library screening. The strains were grown in presence of a fixed concentration of the library drugs in 384-well plates for 12 hours and the remaining bacterial respiration, to reflect growth, was then quantitatively measured using optical density (OD) 450 nm and a resazurin assay. The activity of auranofin was further examined using in vitro susceptibility testing (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC)) against genetically diverse antimicrobial-resistant N. gonorrhoeae strains and time-kill assays. Sixty-eight molecules significantly inhibited bacterial growth of WHO F, O and, P. Auranofin showed potent in vitro bactericidal activity (in MIC-, MBC-, and time-kill assays) against four WHO reference strains. No cross resistance between auranofin and any antimicrobial currently or previously used for gonorrhoea treatment was found when examining 51 selected antimicrobial-resistant gonococcal strains. In conclusion, this is the first wide-scale systematic screening effort for repurposing drugs for future treatment of gonorrhoea. Additional studies examining mechanism(s) of action, resistance development, in vivo anti-gonococcal activity, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics for gonococcal infections of auranofin and several other significant screening hits would be valuable.
PMID: 31811739 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]