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Screening a repurposing library for potentiators of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus biofilms.

International journal of antimicrobial agents (2017-02-06)
Freija Van den Driessche, Gilles Brackman, Rosalie Swimberghe, Petra Rigole, Tom Coenye
ABSTRACT

Staphylococcus aureus biofilms are involved in a wide range of infections that are extremely difficult to treat with conventional antibiotic therapy. We aimed to identify potentiators of antibiotics against mature biofilms of S. aureus Mu50, a methicillin-resistant and vancomycin-intermediate-resistant strain. Over 700 off-patent drugs from a repurposing library were screened in combination with vancomycin in a microtitre plate (MTP)-based biofilm model system. This led to the identification of 25 hit compounds, including four phenothiazines among which thioridazine was the most potent. Their activity was evaluated in combination with other antibiotics both against planktonic and biofilm-grown S. aureus cells. The most promising combinations were subsequently tested in an in vitro chronic wound biofilm infection model. Although no synergistic activity was observed against planktonic cells, thioridazine potentiated the activity of tobramycin, linezolid and flucloxacillin against S. aureus biofilm cells. However, this effect was only observed in a general biofilm model and not in a chronic wound model of biofilm infection. Several drug compounds were identified that potentiated the activity of vancomycin against biofilms formed in a MTP-based biofilm model. A selected hit compound lost its potentiating activity in a model that mimics specific aspects of wound biofilms. This study provides a platform for discovering and evaluating potentiators against bacterial biofilms and highlights the necessity of using relevant in vitro biofilm model systems.