Antimicrobial activity of ruthenium-based intercalators

Albert Bolhuis*, Lorna Hand, Julia E. Marshall, Adair D. Richards, Alison Rodger, Janice Aldrich-Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Multidrug resistance of bacterial pathogens is a major problem and there is a clear need for the development of new types of antibiotics. Here we investigated the antimicrobial activity of ruthenium(II) based DNA-intercalating complexes. These complexes were found to have no activity in vitro against the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, but the complexes were clearly active against the Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. In vivo activity has also been demonstrated for one of the compounds using a simple infection model, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Importantly, this also showed that the compound tested was not toxic to the nematodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-317
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial agents
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • DNA intercalator
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Ruthenium complexes


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