Recent Advances in the Application of Marine Natural Products as Antimicrobial Agents

Marine Biosurfactants as Potential Agents to Combat Multi-Drug Resistant Pathogens

Author(s): Pandi Saravana Kumari and Sevanan Murugan *

Pp: 257-277 (21)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815080148123030014

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Increasing threats due to microbial infections during disease outbreaks resulted in excessive usage of antibiotics. Even during viral disease outbreaks, antibacterial agents are widely prescribed to control bacterial co-infections as a precautionary measure. Moreover, inappropriate use of antibiotics steered towards the development of resistance against a diverse group of antibiotics. Dispersion of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens in the environment is one of the reasons for the development of multi-drug resistance among opportunistic and commensal organisms. This poses a major risk to the healthcare sector. Excessive usage of antibiotics not only results in antibiotic resistance but also in multiple healths associated diseases in humans, such as ulcers, abdominal cramps and discomfort, and anaphylactic shock. Hence, a safe, target-oriented drug with or without minimum side effects is demanded to control multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens. The marine environment hosts the habituation of several plants, animals, and microorganisms. It also harbors novel, potent therapeutic agents against emerging pathogens. Recent research reports state that biosurfactants from marine bacteria, fungi, algae, animals, and plants possess targeted activity against human pathogens. These biosurfactants restrict the growth of microbial pathogens by several mechanisms. Biofilm formation is the major mechanism adopted by many MDR strains to overcome antibiotic treatment. Biosurfactants are reported to prevent even compact biofilms by preventing the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to the host system or clinical devices. Also, they inhibit cell-to-cell signalling and down-regulate the genes coding for biofilm formation, thereby ensuring the complete removal of MDR pathogens. Novel biosurfactants from marine sources render a wide opportunity in drug selection to combat multi-drug resistant organisms.

Keywords: Anti-adhesive, Anti-biofilm, Antibiotic treatment, Antifungal, Antimicrobials, Anti-viral, Biosurfactants, Cell membrane disruption, Drug synergism, Glycolipids, Holothuroids, Inhibition of protein synthesis, Lipopeptides, Lipoproteins, Marine biosurfactants, Micellisation, Multi-drug resistance, Saponins, Sophorolipids, Triterpenoid aglycon.

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