Development of 1,2,4-Oxadiazole Antimicrobial Agents to Treat Enteric Pathogens within the Gastrointestinal Tract

Noel P. Pitcher, Jitendra R. Harjani, Yichao Zhao, Jianwen Jin, Daniel R. Knight, Lucy Li, Papanin Putsathit, Thomas V. Riley, Glen P. Carter, Jonathan B. Baell

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Colonization of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with pathogenic bacteria is an important risk factor for the development of certain potentially severe and life-threatening healthcare-associated infections, yet efforts to develop effective decolonization agents have been largely unsuccessful thus far. Herein, we report modification of the 1,2,4-oxadiazole class of antimicrobial compounds with poorly permeable functional groups in order to target bacterial pathogens within the GI tract. We have identified that the quaternary ammonium functionality of analogue 26a results in complete impermeability in Caco-2 cell monolayers while retaining activity against GI pathogens Clostridioides difficile and multidrug-resistant (MDR) Enterococcus faecium. Low compound recovery levels after oral administration in rats were observed, which suggests that the analogues may be susceptible to degradation or metabolism within the gut, highlighting a key area for optimization in future efforts. This study demonstrates that modified analogues of the 1,2,4-oxadiazole class may be potential leads for further development of colon-targeted antimicrobial agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6737-6759
Number of pages23
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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