Microorganisms, vol. 8, nº 4 (2020)
Infections caused by Salmonella species and Staphylococcus aureus represent major health and food industry problems. Bacteria have developed many strategies to resist the antibacterial activity of antibiotics, leading to multidrug resistance (MDR). The over-expression of drug efflux pumps and the formation of biofilms based on quorum sensing (QS) can contribute the emergence of MDR. For this reason, the development of novel effective compounds to overcome resistance is urgently needed. This study focused on the antibacterial activity of nine symmetrical selenoesters (Se-esters) containing additional functional groups including oxygen esters, ketones, and nitriles against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Firstly, the minimum inhibitory concentrations of the compounds were determined. Secondly, the interaction of compounds with reference antibiotics was examined. The efflux pump (EP) inhibitory properties of the compounds were assessed using real-time fluorimetry. Finally, the anti-biofilm and quorum sensing inhibiting effects of selenocompounds were determined. The methylketone and methyloxycarbonyl selenoesters were the more effective antibacterials compared to cyano selenoesters. The methyloxycarbonyl selenoesters (Se-E2 and Se-E3) showed significant biofilm and efflux pump inhibition, and a methyloxycarbonyl selenoester (Se-E1) exerted strong QS inhibiting effect. Based on results selenoesters could be promising compounds to overcome bacterial MDR. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.