Conjugated carbon monoxide-releasing molecules have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity

Sofia S Mendes, Moritz Sorg, Cláudia Malta Luís, Diana Fontinha, Denise Francisco, Diana Moita, Carlos C Romão, Mariana G Pinho, Catarina Pimentel, Miguel Prudêncio, Lígia M. Saraiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To test the antimicrobial effect of carbon monoxide-releasing molecules (CORMs) conjugated with azoles on different microorganisms. Methods & results: We used broth microdilution, checkerboard and cytotoxicity assays, as well as imaging, fluorescence and bioluminescence experiments to study [Re(CO)3(2,2′-bipyridyl)(Ctz)]+ (also known as ReBpyCtz). ReBpyCtz exhibits a low minimum inhibitory concentration value, increases the intracellular formation of reactive oxygen species and causes significant alterations on Staphylococcus aureus's membrane. ReBpyCtz is active against fungi, having a more prolonged fungicidal effect on Candida glabrata than clotrimazole and is selectively active on blood-stage malaria parasites, at a concentration that is not toxic to kidney epithelial cells. Conclusion: Conjugated CORMs have the potential to be active against different types of pathogens, thus constituting a promising class of broad-spectrum antimicrobials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037-1048
Number of pages12
JournalFuture Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • antimicrobials
  • Candida spp.
  • carbon monoxide-releasing molecules
  • Plasmodium spp.
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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