Novel combinations of agents for synergistic targeting of microbial pathogens


Synergistic anti-fungal combinations

Effective at substantially reduced concentrations


In Brief:

Combinations of agents that stimulate mistranslation in certain fungi

Optimised combinations have been identified by screening

Combinations of FDA-approved agents are among the highest-performing


Background:  Fungicides are a significant market within agriculture, with crop yields and animal health affected by the growth of undesirable and/or pathogenic fungi.

Resistance to fungicides is increasing, but the amount of fungicide that can be administered is often limited by cost, regulation, toxicity to desired organisms (e.g. crops), or a combination of the three.


Solution:  University of Nottingham researchers have shown that the mistranslation rate in certain fungi can be increased up to 10X by combining particular transport inhibitors and aminoglycoside antibiotics (i.e. synergistic effect), resulting in apoptosis.

Certain combinations have achieved a 100% reduction in fungal growth at concentrations which, individually, had negligible effect.

This synergy is not observed in bacterial, plant, or mammalian cells, suggesting that toxicity to plants, humans and non-fungal microbiota can be reduced by virtue of the lower concentrations used.


Optimal combinations identified

The Nottingham team has screened 172 novel combinations against 3 major crop pathogens ( R. solani, Z. tritici and B. cinerea ), as well as 3 human pathogens.

48 combinations were found to have strong synergistic effect and, of these, 23 were effective against more than one pathogen.  A number of the combinations identified as synergistic consist of FDA-approved agents (e.g. quinine and bicarbonate, below)



Patent Information:
Agricultural Biotech
For Information, Contact:
Iain Bower
Commercialisation Officer (Life Sciences & Healthcare)
The University of Nottingham
Sara Holland
Simon Avery
Cindy Vallieres
Elena Moreno-Martinez
Drug Discovery
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