Membrane fluidity is key to the function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. We have developed chitosan-coated esters of dodecanoic acid as membrane intercalating agents with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These can be targeted to Gram-positive or negative bacteria by alteration of charge and decoration on the chitosan coat, and bacteria show no innate or evolved resistance to these agents on exposure.
We have observed previously that modification of bacterial membranes by the insertion of lipids with cyclic or branched moieties causes an increase in membrane stability and in bacterial heat tolerance. Where bacteria are unable to alter these lipids their ability to adapt becomes compromised as an increase in stability causes decreased fluidity and ability of the membrane to function.
Natureza Products, Inc. has developed these lipids into orally dosable chitosan-coated particles (PY-1 for Gram positives and PY-3 for Gram negatives) that show activity against many of the WHO priority pathogens and have also shown that these are active in in vivo models.