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A broad-spectrum antibiofilm peptide enhances antibiotic action against bacterial biofilms.

Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy (2014-07-02)
Fany Reffuveille, César de la Fuente-Núñez, Sarah Mansour, Robert E W Hancock

Biofilm-related infections account for at least 65% of all human infections, but there are no available antimicrobials that specifically target biofilms. Their elimination by available treatments is inefficient since biofilm cells are between 10- and 1,000-fold more resistant to conventional antibiotics than planktonic cells. Here we describe the synergistic interactions, with different classes of antibiotics, of a recently characterized antibiofilm peptide, 1018, to potently prevent and eradicate bacterial biofilms formed by multidrug-resistant ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) pathogens. Combinations of peptide 1018 and the antibiotic ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, imipenem, or tobramycin were synergistic in 50% of assessments and decreased by 2- to 64-fold the concentration of antibiotic required to treat biofilms formed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella enterica, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, in flow cell biofilm studies, combinations of low, subinhibitory levels of the peptide (0.8 μg/ml) and ciprofloxacin (40 ng/ml) decreased dispersal and triggered cell death in mature P. aeruginosa biofilms. In addition, short-term treatments with the peptide in combination with ciprofloxacin prevented biofilm formation and reduced P. aeruginosa PA14 preexisting biofilms. PCR studies indicated that the peptide suppressed the expression of various antibiotic targets in biofilm cells. Thus, treatment with the peptide represents a novel strategy to potentiate antibiotic activity against biofilms formed by multidrug-resistant pathogens.

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Diethyl azodicarboxylate solution, 40 wt. % in toluene