Antimicrobial Agents And Chemotherapy
The severe diarrheal disease cholera is endemic in over 50 countries. Current therapies for cholera patients involve oral and/or intravenous rehydration, often combined with the use of antibiotics to shorten the duration and intensity of the disease. However, as antibiotic resistance increases, treatment options will become limited. Linoleic acid has been shown to be a potent negative effector of V. cholerae virulence that acts on the major virulence transcription regulator protein, ToxT, to inhibit virulence gene expression. ToxT activates transcription of the two major virulence factors required for disease, cholera toxin (CT) and toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). A conjugated form of linoleic acid (CLA) is currently sold over the counter as a dietary supplement and is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This study examined whether CLA could be used as a new therapy to reduce CT production, which, in turn, would decrease disease duration and intensity in cholera patients. CLA could be used in place of traditional antibiotics and would be very unlikely to generate resistance, as it affects only virulence factor production and not bacterial growth or survival.