Document Type


Publication Date



School of Pharmacy


Pharmaceutical Sciences


A chemical library comprised of nineteen synthesized pyridyl disulfides that emulate the chemical reactivity of allicin (garlic) was evaluated for antimicrobial activity against a panel of pathogenic bacteria. Gram-positive species including vancomycin-intermediate and vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA, VRSA) demonstrated the highest level of susceptibility toward analogs with S-alkyl chains of 7–9 carbons in length. Further biological studies revealed that the disulfides display synergy with vancomycin against VRSA, cause dispersal of S. aureus biofilms, exhibit low cytotoxicity, and decelerate S. aureus metabolism. In final analysis, pyridyl disulfides represent a novel class of mechanism-based antibacterial agents that have a potential application as antibiotic adjuvants in combination therapy of S. aureus infections with reduced vancomycin susceptibility.

Source Citation

Sheppard JG, McAleer JP, Saralkar P, Geldenhuys WJ, Long TE. Allicin-inspired pyridyl disulfides as antimicrobial agents for multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2018;143:1185-1195. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.10.018