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Antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin isolated from Serratia marcescens UFPEDA 398


Prodigiosin is an alkaloid and natural red pigment produced by Serratia marcescens. Prodigiosin has antimicrobial, antimalarial and antitumor properties and induces apoptosis in T and B lymphocytes. These properties have piqued the interest of researchers in the fields of medicine, pharmaceutics and different industries. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin against pathogenic micro-organisms. The red pigments produced by S. marcescens exhibited absorption at 534 nm, Rf of 0.59 and molecular weight of 323 m/z. Antimicrobial activity was tested against oxacillin-resistant Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Acinetobacter sp. and oxacillin-resistant S. aureus. The standard antibiotics employed were ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin and oxacillin. The disc-diffusion tests demonstrated significant inhibition zones for S. aureus (35 ± 0.6), E. faecalis (22 ± 1.0) and S. pyogenes (14 ± 0.6). However, prodigiosin showed resistance to E. coli, P. aeruginosa and acinetobacter, where no significant formation of inhibitory halos were observed. We determined the inhibitory minimum concentrations and bactericidal for 20 strains of oxacillin-resistant S. aureus (ORSA). The pattern was the antibiotic oxacillin. The minimum inhibitory concentrations observed ranged from 1, 2 and 4.0 μg/mL, respectively, while the minimum bactericidal concentrations ranged from 2, 4, 8 and 16 μg/mL. The S. marcescens prodigiosin produced by showed bactericidal and bacteriostatic effect showing promising antimicrobial activity and suggesting future studies regarding its applicability in antibiotics therapies directed ORSA.

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The authors are grateful to the technical team, the Department of Antibiotics of the Federal University of Pernambuco for offering the use of the laboratories and to the Brazilian fostering agencies CNPq and CAPES.

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Correspondence to J. C. Lapenda.

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Lapenda, J.C., Silva, P.A., Vicalvi, M.C. et al. Antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin isolated from Serratia marcescens UFPEDA 398. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 31, 399–406 (2015).

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  • Antibiotics
  • Serratia marcescens
  • Resistance
  • Natural products