In vitro actinomycete biofilm development and inhibition by the polyene antibiotic, nystatin, on IUD copper surfaces.

PMID 22963125


The presence of intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) gives a solid surface for attachment and an ideal niche for biofilm to form and flourish. Pelvic actinomycosis is often associated with the use of IUDs. Treatment of IUD-associated pelvic actinomycosis requires the immediate removal of the IUD. Therefore, this article presents in vitro evidence to support the use of novel antibiotics in the treatment of actinomycete biofilms. Twenty one clinical actinomycetes isolates from endocervical swabs of IUD wearers were assessed for their biofilm forming ability. An in vitro biofilm model with three isolates, Streptomyces strain A4, Nocardia strain C15 and Nocardia strain C17 was subjected to treatment with nystatin. Inhibition of biofilm formation by nystatin was found to be concentration dependent, with MBIC50 values in the range 0.08-0.16 mg ml(-1). Furthermore, at a concentration of 0.16 mg ml(-1), nystatin inhibited the twitching motility of the isolates, providing evidence for a possible mechanism of biofilm inhibition.