Soft antimicrobial agents: Synthesis and activity of labile environmentally friendly long chain quaternary ammonium compounds

Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, Már Másson, Karl G. Kristinsson, Martha A. Hjálmarsdóttir, Hilmar Hilmarsson, Thorsteinn Loftsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of soft quaternary ammonium antimicrobial agents, which are analogues to currently used quaternary ammonium preservatives such as cetyl pyridinium chloride and benzalkonium chloride, were synthesized. These soft analogues consist of long alkyl chain connected to a polar headgroup via chemically labile spacer group. They are characterized by facile nonenzymatic and enzymatic degradation to form their original nontoxic building blocks. However, their chemical stability has to be adequate in order for them to have antimicrobial effects. Stability studies and antibacterial and antiviral activity measurements revealed relationship between activity, lipophilicity, and stability. Their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was as low as 1 μg/mL, and their viral reduction was in some cases greater than 6.7 log. The structure-activity studies demonstrate that the bioactive compounds (i.e., MIC for Gram-positive bacteria of < 10μg/mL) have an alkyl chain length between 12 and 18 carbon atoms, with a polar headgroup preferably of a small quaternary ammonium group, and their acquired inactivation half-life must be greater than 3 h at 60 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4173-4181
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume46
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2003

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