The use of natural products together with standard antimicrobial drugs has recently received more attention as a strategy to combat infectious diseases caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) microorganisms. This study aimed to evaluate the capacity of a galactose-binding lectin from Vatairea macrocarpa seeds (VML) to modulate antibiotic activity against standard and MDR Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacterial strains. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) obtained for VML against all strains was not clinically relevant (MIC?=?1024 µg/mL). However, when VML was combined with the antibacterial drugs gentamicin, norfloxacin and penicillin, a significant increase in antibiotic activity was observed against S. aureus, whereas the combination of VML and norfloxacin presented decreased and, hence, antagonistic antibiotic activity against E. coli. By its inhibition of hemagglutinating activity, gentamicin (MIC?=?50 mM) revealed its interaction with the carbohydrate-binding site (CBS) of VML. Using molecular docking, it was found that gentamicin interacts with residues that constitute the CBS of VML with a score of -?120.79 MDS. It is this interaction between the antibiotic and the lectin's CBS that may be responsible for the enhanced activity of gentamicin in S. aureus. Thus, our results suggest that the VML can be an effective modulating agent against S. aureus. This is the first study to report the effect of lectins as modulators of bacterial sensitivity, and as such, the outcome of this study could lay the groundwork for future research involving the use of lectins and conventional antibiotics against such infectious diseases such as community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).
Journal: Probiotics and antimicrobial proteins