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DONAC - Discovery of antimicrobial compounds

Tipologia
Progetti internazionali
Programma di ricerca
Fondation The Ark
Budget
€ 147854
Periodo
01/01/2019 - 01/10/2019
Prof. Giovanna Cristina Varese

Partecipanti al progetto

Descrizione del progetto

Canton of Valais and North of Italy are gathering in the field of natural ingredients outstanding competences and knowhow that have not been yet fully exploited. More concretely, on both parts of the frontier, several partners are deploying diversified activities in fields such as agronomy, fungi isolation and cultivation, plant and fungi extraction,in vitro bioassay, compound identification, etc., that have been poorly organized in the past in order to fully exploit the power of natural compounds. In such a context, we identify the unique opportunity to gather these competences around the Alpine Space Consortium with the aim of getting a significant EU support. Long term vision would be to valorize natural resources in the high added value segment of Pharmaceutical active ingredients.
As a first step, we propose to make a proof of concept on a niche of activity: identifying plant and fungi extracts with antimicrobial properties.
Alpine plants and fungi represent an untapped natural source of bioactive molecules with unmet degree of structural complexity and diversity. Such natural reservoir has not been screened sufficiently to investigate antimicrobial features and this project aims to, at least partially, fill up this gap. Placed as a part of global ongoing initiatives against the antimicrobial resistances, the present project will be the first step toward the discovery of new scaffolds targeting resistant microbes, hence, promising innovative solutions to address infections threatening patients worldwide.
The overall aim of the project is to identify novel natural bioactive molecules with antimicrobial properties from alpine plants and fungi. During the first step of the project, crude extracts and their partially purified fractions obtained from alpine plants and fungi will be screened against a panel of microorganisms containing bacteria and yeast pathogens (including those showing multi-drug resistance) and following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.
Samples which show activity and result negative to the cytotoxicity test during this primary screening will go through the process of bioassay-guided fractionation (liquid-liquid partitions, solid phase extractions etc. ) until pure compounds are isolated (prep-HPLC). Chemical characterization and de-replication of active fractions will be performed by HR-LC-MS (profiling) and MS/MS (fragmentation pattern, structural information). The bioactivity and the absence of cytotoxicity of pure compounds will be then verified again. The project will valorize natural resources of the canton of Valais by using existing multidisciplinary expertise, infrastructure and know-how present throughout cantonal partners (CimArk, Mediplant extraction platform, IHMA Europe) and will attract new competences and technologies from foreign partners (University of Turin, MUT, Prof. Varese).
The project will further favour the local and cross-border cooperation between participating partners strengthening and boosting the regional economy.

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