Synthesis of Fusidic Acid Derivatives Yields a Potent Antibiotic with an Improved Resistance Profile

Martin Garcia Chavez, Alfredo Garcia, Hyang Yeon Lee, Gee W. Lau, Erica N. Parker, Kailey E. Komnick, Paul J. Hergenrother

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fusidic acid (FA) is a potent steroidal antibiotic that has been used in Europe for more than 60 years to treat a variety of infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens. Despite its clinical success, FA requires significantly elevated dosing (3 g on the first day, 1.2 g on subsequent days) to minimize resistance, as FA displays a high resistance frequency, and a large shift in minimum inhibitory concentration is observed for resistant bacteria. Despite efforts to improve on these aspects, all previously constructed derivatives of FA have worse antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria than the parent natural product. Here, we report the creation of a novel FA analogue that has equivalent potency against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Enterococcus faecium (E. faecium) as well as an improved resistance profile in vitro when compared to FA. Importantly, this new compound displays efficacy against an FA-resistant strain of S. aureus in a soft-tissue murine infection model. This work delineates the structural features of FA necessary for potent antibiotic activity and demonstrates that the resistance profile can be improved for this scaffold and target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-505
Number of pages13
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 12 2021


  • EF-G inhibitor
  • antibiotics
  • fusidic acid analogues
  • in vivo efficacy
  • resistance profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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