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Research in Microbiology
Volume 172 (3), 2021, 103817

Morpholinium-based ionic liquids show antimicrobial activity against clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Tomasz Clapaa, Jakub Michalskia, Anna Sygudab, Dorota Naroznaa, Peter van Oostrumc, Erik Reimhultc

Poznań University of Life Sciences, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Dojazd 11, 60-632, Poznan, Poland.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogen. It is classified by WHO as one of the most life-threatening pathogens causing nosocomial infections. Some of its clinical isolates and their subpopulations show high persistence to many antibiotics that are recommended by the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST). Thus, there is a need for non-traditional classes of antibiotics to fight the increasing threat of MDR P. aeruginosa. Ionic liquids (IL) are one such promising class of novel antibiotics. We selected four strains of P. aeruginosa and studied the growth inhibition and other effects of 12 different ILs. We used the well-characterized P. aeruginosa PAO1 (ATCC 15692) as model strain and compared it to three other isolates from chronic lung infection (LES B58), skin burn infection (UCBPP-PA14) and keratitis infection (39016), respectively. The ILs consisted of either 4,4-didecylmorpholinium [Dec2Mor]+ or 4-decyl-4-ethylmorpholinium [DecEtMor]+ cations combined with different anions. We found that the ILs with 4,4-didecylmorpholinium [Dec2Mor]+ cations most effectively inhibited bacterial growth as well as reduced strain fitness and virulence factor production. Our results indicate that these ILs could be used to treat P. aeruginosa infections.

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