mBio. 2024-04-10; 15.4: e0006924.

SP-CHAP, an endolysin with enhanced activity against biofilm pneumococci and nasopharyngeal colonization

Alreja AB, Appel AE, Zhu JC, Riley SP, Gonzalez-Juarbe N, Nelson DC

PMID: 38470268


(), a Gram-positive bacterium, is responsible for causing a wide variety of invasive infections. The emergence of multi-drug antibiotic resistance has prompted the search for antimicrobial alternatives. Phage-derived peptidoglycan hydrolases, known as endolysins, are an attractive alternative. In this study, an endolysin active against , designated SP-CHAP, was cloned, produced, purified, biochemically characterized, and evaluated for its antimicrobial properties. Cysteine, histidine-dependent amidohydrolase/peptidase (CHAP) domains are widely represented in bacteriophage endolysins but have never previously been reported for pneumococcal endolysins. Here, we characterize the first pneumococcal endolysin with a CHAP catalytic domain. SP-CHAP was antimicrobial against all serovars tested, including capsular and capsule-free pneumococci, and it was found to be more active than the most widely studied pneumococcal endolysin, Cpl-1, while not affecting various oral or nasal commensal organisms tested. SP-CHAP was also effective in eradicating biofilms at concentrations as low as 1.56 µg/mL. In addition, a mouse nasopharyngeal colonization model was employed, which showed that SP-CHAP caused a significant reduction in colony-forming units, even more than Cpl-1. These results indicate that SP-CHAP may represent a promising alternative to combating infections.