Utilisation of the Prestwick Chemical Library to identify drugs that inhibit the growth of mycobacteria

Kanvatirth P, Jeeves RE, Bacon J, Besra GS, Alderwick LJ
PLoS ONE - vol. 14 (2019)


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease that kills approximately 1.3 million people every year. Despite global efforts to reduce both the incidence and mortality associated with TB, the emergence of drug resistant strains has slowed any progress made towards combating the spread of this deadly disease. The current TB drug regimen is inadequate, takes months to complete and poses significant challenges when administering to patients suffering from drug resistant TB. New treatments that are faster, simpler and more affordable are urgently required. Arguably, a good strategy to discover new drugs is to start with an old drug. Here, we have screened a library of 1200 FDA approved drugs from the Prestwick Chemical library using a GFP microplate assay. Drugs were screened against GFP expressing strains of Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium bovis BCG as surrogates for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB in humans. We identified several classes of drugs that displayed antimycobacterial activity against both M. smegmatis and BCG, however each organism also displayed some selectivity towards certain drug classes. Variant analysis of whole genomes sequenced for resistant mutants raised to florfenicol, vanoxerine and pentamidine highlight new pathways that could be exploited in drug repurposing programmes.

More info at :