Acta dermato-venereologica

The in vitro activity of pentane-1,5-diol against aerobic bacteria. A new antimicrobial agent for topical usage?

PMID 16040402


Multi-resistance to antibiotic therapy and to biocides is becoming increasingly common, which has led to mounting concern worldwide regarding the future use of traditional antimicrobials. Diols or glycols also have antimicrobial effects. Pentane-1,5-diol has low oral toxicity, is essentially non-irritating to the skin and has high antimicrobial activities against bacteria, fungi and viruses. The effect of pentane-1,5-diol against both sensitive and multi-resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was tested in vitro against 85 bacterial strains showing minimal inhibitory concentrations in the range of 2.5 to 15.0% (vol/vol) against both antibiotic-susceptible and multi-resistant aerobic bacteria. The exact mechanism of action is unknown but probably pentane-1,5-diol sucks water out of the bacterial cells which then collapse, a mechanism to which it is probably very difficult to develop resistance. The high activity against multi-resistant bacteria makes pentane-1,5-diol an interesting new compound for topical antimicrobial therapy in humans.

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