The development of microbial antibiotic resistance has become one of the biggest threats to global health and the search for new molecules active against resistant pathogenic strains is a challenge that must be tackled. In many cases nosocomial infections are caused by bacteria characterized by multi-drug resistance patterns and by their ability to produce biofilms. These properties lead to the persistence of pathogens in the hospital environment. This paper reports the synthesis and characterization of three thiosemicarbazone derivatives based on a compound containing the cinnamaldehyde natural scaffold but possessing different logPow values. These molecules are then used as ligands to prepare complexes of the Cu(II) and Zn(II) ions. All these compounds, ligands and complexes, were screened in vitro on stains of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae for their antibacterial activity. Despite their molecular similarity they revealed variegated behaviors. Only two of them present interesting antimicrobial properties and have also been studied to verify their stability in solution. The compound with the lowest partition coefficient is the most promising. The minimal bactericidal concentration on K. pneumoniae and E. coli of these substances are very interesting and demonstrate that the use of metalloantibiotics is a promising device to fight antibiotic resistance.
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