Antibacterial agents and cystic fibrosis: synthesis and antimicrobial evaluation of a series of N-thiomethylazetidinones.
ABSTRACT The increasing emergence of multidrug-resistant microorganisms is one of the greatest challenges in the clinical management of infectious disease. New antimicrobial agents are therefore urgently required, particularly in the treatment of chronic and recurrent infections often associated with antibiotic-resistant pathogens, as in the case of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. This study reports the antibacterial activity of a series of monocyclic β-lactams with an alkylidenecarboxyl chain or electron-withdrawing groups such as 4-OAc, 4-SAc, and 4-SO(2)Ph at the C4 position of the ring. N-Unsubstituted and N-thiomethyl derivatives were compared. A total of 33 azetidinones were tested for their activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial clinical isolates. The combination of an N-thiomethyl group and a benzyl ester on the 4-alkylidene side chain were found to increase the potency against Gram-positive bacteria. The N-thiomethyl group clearly elevated the activity of 4-acetoxyazetidinones relative to the corresponding NH derivatives. The most active compounds showed minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 4 and 8 mg L(-1) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from pediatric patients with CF.