Surmounting the challenge of developing a novel arsenal against bacterial pathogens remains formidable. However, a research team from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) employed a strategy to develop a multimodal nanobiotic platform which combats bacterial pathogens. The nanoplatform leverages the synergistic antibacterial activity of a food-grade peptide (an antimicrobial peptide from a Generally Recognised As Safe- GRAS category bacterium, Pediococcuspentosaceus) to mitigate multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. The technology platform has been shown to have applications in the health sector and food packaging.

The team used pediocin, a class IIa bacteriocin to decorate silver (Ag°)nanoparticles and developed a double-edged nano-platform (Pd-SNPs) that inherits intrinsic properties of both antibacterial moieties, which engenders strikingly high antibacterial potency against a broad spectrum of bacterial pathogens including the ESKAPE category (six antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens) without displaying adverse cytotoxicityto mammalian cells.

The enhanced antimicrobial activity of Pd-SNPs is due to their higher affinity with the bacterial cell wall, which allows Pd-SNPs to penetrate the outer membrane, inducing a shift in electric charge distribution of the membrane cell leading to the disruption of membrane integrity.

A battery of genetic regulatory elements based on rapid and sensitive screening tool for mechanism of action assessment revealed that the upregulation of cpxP, degP, and sosX genes triggers the burst of reactive oxygen species which eventually causes bacterial cell death

These findings underscore new avenues for using a potent biocompatible nanobiotic platform to combat a wide range of bacterial pathogens.

All animal experiments were conducted in compliance with the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee of the IIT Roorkee, according to the guidelines of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (Government of India, New Delhi).
The research team that contributed to the study from IIT Roorkee are Professor Naveen Kumar Navani, Chemical Biology Laboratory, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering and Adjunct Faculty, Centre of Nanotechnology, IIT Roorkee; Piyush Kumar, Arshad Ali Shaikh, Pardeep Kumar, Rajat Dhyani, Tarun Kumar Sharma,Ajmal Hussain, Chemical Biology Laboratory, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Roorkee; Vivek Kumar Gupta, Ranjana Pathania, Molecular Bacteriology and Chemical Genetics Laboratory, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Roorkee;KrishnakantGangele, Krishana Mohan Poluri, Mechanistic Biological Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Roorkee.
Professor Naveen Kumar Navani and Piyush Kumar conceptualised the research and wrote the research paper; Piyush Kumar, Arshad Ali Shaikh, Pardeep Kumar, Vivek Kumar Gupta, Rajat Dhyani, Tarun Kumar Sharma, Ajmal Hussain, performed the research.

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