Deus ex machina (Part 4): Flavonoid-like Molecules

When I started the Deus ex machina "meme" three weeks ago, I had no idea that so many potential novel antimicrobials would just suddenly appear.  First we had tiny magnets, then we had DNA or RNA gold nanoparticles and now word comes that there is a newly synthesized family of flavonoid-like molecules with antibacterial and antifungal activity.

Fowler et al. in PLoS ONE examined flavonoids, which are abundant plant metabolites with anti-infective activity. They used a natural flavonoid scaffold to create novel flavanones and tested their efficacy versus E coli, B subtilis, Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus. They screened eight molecules and found that 4-chloro-flavanone was the most potent antimicrobial compound.  What did Ralph Waldo Emerson say? I think it's that "We judge of man's wisdom by his hope."  Keep hope alive.

Source: Fowler et al. PLoS ONE 2011

Via:  Hampton T, JAMA 2011


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