|Name||Ms. Sofia Kokkaliari|
|Organization||University of South Florida|
MANGROVE ENDOPHYTIC FUNGI COMPOUNDS AS POTENTIAL DRUGS AGAINST INFECTIOUS PATHOGENS
Sofia Kokkaliari,1 Christopher Rice,2 Dennis E. Kyle2 and Bill J. Baker1
1 Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida and Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620
Marine natural products have attracted the interest of the scientific community in recent years due to the diversity of their structures. More recently, marine fungi have been shown to produce a plethora of secondary metabolites many of which exhibit activity against different biological targets. Arising from this development, endophytic fungi from marine margin communities such as mangroves are of interest as an antimicrobial drug resource. Mangroves show a very interesting type of growth, as part of them is submerged under saline water, while the bulk is above the water line. As a result, terrestrial and marine fungi grow on mangroves, leading to a very competitive environment and the production of many secondary metabolites in order for them to survive. In this project, we attempted to isolate compounds with activity against drug resistant infectious agents, such as Naegleria fowleri, which in recent years have been the cause of many environment-acquired infections. The mangrove fungi were grown under control and epigenetically modified conditions, in order to counterbalance the milder and non-competitive laboratory conditions. The culture was performed in rice and a sequence of MPLC (medium pressure liquid chromatography) and HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) purification procedures was followed. The process was guided, through every step by bioassay results, revealing the activity of the fungi extracts and further directing the isolation of pure compounds. So far, many of the isolated compounds have shown moderate to good activity against infectious diseases such as N. fowleri.