Anti-MRSA and Clot Lysis Activities of an Endophytic Fungus Pestalotiopsis microspora

Anti-MRSA and Clot Lysis Activities of an Endophytic Fungus Pestalotiopsis microspora

Sandip Chowdhury1, Suvranil Ghosh2, Surendra K. Gond1*

1Department of Botany, MMV, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India

2Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India 700054, India


There is an urgent call to search for novel natural compounds against developing multidrug-resistant microorganisms. The present work focuses on the characterization of a plant- associated fungus having bioactivity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. A fungal strain P31 was isolated from bark of Dillenia pentagyna plant and identified as Pestalotiopsis microspora. The fungal  extract showed strong bactericidal activity by killing all treated MRSA cells within 24 hour of treatment at their respective MIC value. A scanning electron microscopic study visualized morphological damage of MRSA cells. The membrane permeability of P31 extract treated MRSA cells gradually increased which caused release of internal cytoplasmic nucleic acids, proteins and potassium ions (K+) from cells suggesting cell lysis or leakage from cells. A very low concentration of P31 extract was able to inhibit biofilm formed by MRSA cells. Thin layer chromatographic separation followed by GCMS analysis of the P31 extract revealed a number of antimicrobial compounds along with an anti-MRSA compound 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol. In addition, the P31 extract also showed in-vitro human blood clot lysis activity at various concentrations. The clot lysis activity of P31 extract was found maximum at 500 µg/mL. These findings suggest that fungal isolate P31 has potential as a source of anti-MRSA compounds useful in staph infections.

Dr. Surendra Kumar Gond is currently working as senior Assistant Professor at Department of Botany, MMV, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, India. He has done his graduation, post graduation and PhD from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He has worked as a scientific officer at the Rubber Research Institute of India in Kottayam, Kerala. Prior to his appointment to BHU, he was Assistant Professor at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal. Dr. Gond has worked as a visiting scientist at Rutgers University, NJ, USA from 2013-14. Dr. Gond teaches Microbiology in UG and PG classes. He especially works on plant microbe interactions of symbiotic microorganisms. He is currently running a major project of Rs 32 lakh funded by SERB New Delhi on endophytic fungi of Catharthus roseus. He has published more than 45 research papers in high impact international journals. His research work has been cited more than 3500 times. His research work H index and i10 index is 25 and 35 respectively.