Aryl-alkyl-lysines: Novel agents for treatment of C. difficile infection
Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) are a growing health concern worldwide. The recalcitrance of C. difficile spores to currently available treatments and concomitant virulence of vegetative cells has made it imperative to develop newer modalities of treatment. Aryl-alkyl-lysines have been earlier reported to possess antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Their broad spectrum of activity is attributed to their ability to infiltrate microbial membranes. Herein, we report the activity of aryl-alkyl-lysines against C. difficile and associated pathogens. The most active compound NCK-10 displayed activity comparable to the clinically-used antibiotic vancomycin. Indeed, against certain C. difficile strains, NCK-10 was more active than vancomycin in vitro. Additionally, NCK-10 exhibited limited permeation across the intestinal tract as assessed via a Caco-2 bidirectional permeability assay. Overall, the findings suggest aryl-alkyl-lysines warrant further investigation as novel agents to treat CDI.