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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Susceptibility of Legionella pneumophila grown extracellularly and in human monocytes to indole-3-propionic acid.

Indole-3-propionic acid (IPA), a phytohormone derivative, is a potent inhibitor of growth of Legionella pneumophila cultivated extracellularly in a chemically defined hypotonic medium and intracellularly in human monocytes. The inhibitory activity turns into bactericidal activity with increasing concentrations. The susceptibility of the microorganism to IPA was more evident in "fast-growing" cultures (under conditions of vigorous shaking) than in static cultures growing under an atmosphere of 5% CO2-95% air, which resulted in a decreased growth rate. The MIC, after incubation with the drug for 48 h and as determined by counting of the CFU, was 1.58 microM for fast-growing cultures and 2.64 microM for those grown under static conditions. The MBCs were 5.28 and 26.43 microM, respectively. Tryptophan (Trp) at 150 microM prevented the inhibition caused by 2.64 microM IPA, increased the MIC about 3-fold, and increased the MBC by 10-fold. The effect of Trp was less remarkable in "slow-growing" cultures. The susceptibility of L. pneumophila proliferating in human monocytes was markedly lower than that when it was cultivated extracellularly in the chemically defined hypotonic medium. The MIC after incubation for 48 h was 5.28 microM, and a decrease in viable count was achieved with 105.70 microM. The lower susceptibility was apparently due (at least partially) to the presence of Trp (24.50 microM) in the RPMI 1640 medium that was used for the monocyte cultures. The effect of IPA was time dependent, and prolonged exposure enhanced the bactericidal activity and turned the inhibitory dose into a bactericidal dose. The present data demonstrate that IPA is a potent anti-L. pneumophila factor, although it has a markedly lower activity against bacteria growing intracellularly compared with its activity against extracellularly proliferating microorganisms.[1]


  1. Susceptibility of Legionella pneumophila grown extracellularly and in human monocytes to indole-3-propionic acid. Mandelbaum-Shavit, F., Barak, V., Saheb-Tamimi, K., Grossowicz, N. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1991) [Pubmed]
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