In this study, we report the antimicrobial planktonic and biofilm kill kinetics of ultrashort cationic lipopeptides previously demonstrated by our group to have a minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) in the microgram per mL (μg/mL) range against clinically relevant biofilm-forming micro-organisms. We compare the rate of kill for the most potent of these lipopeptides, dodecanoic (lauric) acid-conjugated C12-Orn-Orn-Trp-Trp-NH2 against the tetrapeptide amide H-Orn-Orn-Trp-Trp-NH2 motif and the amphibian peptide Maximin-4 via a modification of the MBEC Assay™ for Physiology & Genetics (P&G). Improved antimicrobial activity is achieved upon N-terminal lipidation of the tetrapeptide amide. Increased antimicrobial potency was demonstrated against both planktonic and biofilm forms of Gram-positive micro-organisms. We hypothesize rapid kill to be achieved by targeting of microbial membranes. Complete kill against established 24-h Gram-positive biofilms occurred within 4 h of exposure to C12-OOWW-NH2 at MBEC values [methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus epidermidis(ATCC 35984): 15.63 μg/mL] close to the values for the planktonic minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) [methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus epidermidis(ATCC 35984): 1.95 μg/mL]. Such rapid kill, especially against sessile biofilm forms, is indicative of a reduction in the likelihood of resistant strains developing with the potential for quicker resolution of pathogenic infection. Ultrashort antimicrobial lipopeptides have high potential as antimicrobial therapy.
Comparing the biofilm eradication kinetics for potent ultrashort antimicrobial cationic lipopeptides via a modified MBEC Assay™.