Auranofin is an effective agent against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus

Nagendran Tharmalingam, Noelly Q. Ribeiro, Danielle L. Da Silva, Mandar T. Naik, Lana I.B. Cruz, Wooseong Kim, Steven Shen, Jéssica D. Dos Santos, Katarina Ezikovich, Erika M.C. D'Agata, Eleftherios Mylonakis, Beth B. Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Aim: The orphan drug auranofin was recently found to exhibit antimicrobial properties. Materials & methods: We explored the efficacy of auranofin by evaluating the minimal inhibitory concentration against a collection of over 500 clinical isolates derived from multiple institutions, inclusive of drug resistant strains. Our evaluation also included continuous exposure of bacteria to auranofin. Results & conclusion: We found that minimal inhibitory concentrations ranged between 0.125 and 1 mg/l, exerting robust antimicrobial activity against a sizeable clinical collection of the bacteria. Further, we evaluated the propensity of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain MW2 to develop resistance through extended exposure to auranofin. After 25 days, the bacteria remained susceptible. Our data suggest that resistance mechanisms do not currently exist to block auranofin antimicrobial activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1425
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2019


  • MRSA
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • VISA
  • antimicrobial
  • auranofin
  • drug-resistant bacteria
  • thioredoxin reductase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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