New TRR publication! Commensal production of a broad-spectrum and short-lived antimicrobial peptide polyene eliminates nasal Staphylococcus aureus.
Antagonistic bacterial interactions often rely on antimicrobial bacteriocins, which attack only a narrow range of target bacteria. However, antimicrobials with broader activity may be advantageous. Here we identify an antimicrobial called epifadin, which is produced by nasal Staphylococcus epidermidis IVK83. It has an unprecedented architecture consisting of a non-ribosomally synthesized peptide, a polyketide component and a terminal modified amino acid moiety. Epifadin combines a wide antimicrobial target spectrum with a short life span of only a few hours. It is highly unstable under in vivo-like conditions, potentially as a means to limit collateral damage of bacterial mutualists. However, Staphylococcus aureus is eliminated by epifadin-producing S. epidermidis during co-cultivation in vitro and in vivo, indicating that epifadin-producing commensals could help prevent nasal S. aureus carriage. These insights into a microbiome-derived, previously unknown antimicrobial compound class suggest that limiting the half-life of an antimicrobial may help to balance its beneficial and detrimental activities.
Congratulations to all the authors: Benjamin O. Torres Salazar, Taulan Dema, Nadine A. Schilling, Daniela Janek , Jan Bornikoel, Anne Berscheid, Ahmed M. A. Elsherbini, Sophia Krauss , Simon J. Jaag, Michael Lämmerhofer, Min Li, Norah Alqahtani, Malcolm J. Horsburgh, Tilmann Weber, José Manuel Beltrán-Beleña, Heike Brötz-Oesterhelt, Stephanie Grond, Bernhard Krismer, Andreas Peschel.
Access to the full version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-023-01544-2