Despite the fact that carbapenems (powerful β-lactams antibiotics) were able to fight serious infectious diseases, nowadays the spread of carbapenems-resistant bacteria is considered the main challenge in antibacterial therapy. In this study, we focused on evaluating the surface conjugation of carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem) with gold nanoparticles as a delivering strategy to specifically and safely maximize their therapeutic efficacy while destroying the developing resistance of the pathogens. Different particle size formulae (35, 70 and 200 nm) were prepared by citrate reduction method. The prepared nanoparticles were functionalized with imipenem (Ipm) or meropenem (Mem) and physico-chemically characterized for loading efficiency, particle size, morphology, and in-vitro release. The antibacterial efficacy was also evaluated against carbapenems resistant Gram-negative bacteria isolated from infected human, through measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration and antibiotic kill test. All the obtained gold nanoparticles showed a distinct nano-size with loading efficiency up to 72% and 74% for Ipm and Mem, respectively. The conjugation and physico-chemical stability of the formulated carbapenems were confirmed by FTIR and X-RPD. Diffusion driven release behavior was observed for both Ipm and Mem from all of the loaded gold nanoparticles. For both Ipm and Mem, formula with 35 nm diameter showed the most significant enhancement in antibacterial activity against all the selected isolates including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis and Acinteobacter baumanii. Ipm loaded Gold nanoparticles demonstrated decrease in the MIC of Ipm down to four folds, whereas, Mem loaded gold nanoparticles showed decrease in the MIC of Mem down to three folds on the tested bacterial isolates. Based on these results, the formulation of carbapenems-loaded gold nanoparticles demonstrated to be a promising nano-size delivery vehicle for improving the therapeutic activity and destroying the bacterial resistance for carbapenems.Graphical abstract
Schematic representation for the conjugation of Imipenem and Meropenem with citrate-capped gold nanoparticles.