Synergistic Effect of Membrane-Active Peptides Polymyxin B and Gramicidin S on Multidrug-Resistant Strains and Biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

PubMedID: 26077259

Berditsch M, Jäger T, Strempel N, Schwartz T, Overhage J, Ulrich AS. Synergistic Effect of Membrane-Active Peptides Polymyxin B and Gramicidin S on Multidrug-Resistant Strains and Biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015;.
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of severe hospital-acquired infections. Currently, polymyxin B (PMB) is a last-resort antibiotic for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, despite its undesirable side effects. The delivery of drug combinations has been shown to reduce the required therapeutic doses of antibacterial agents and thereby their toxicity if a synergistic effect is present. In this study, we investigated the synergy between two cyclic antimicrobial peptides, PMB and gramicidin S (GS), against different P. aeruginosa isolates, using a quantitative checkerboard assay with resazurin as a growth indicator. Among the 28 strains that we studied, 20 strains showed a distinct synergistic effect, represented by a fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) of =0. 5. Remarkably, several clinical P. aeruginosa isolates that grew as small-colony variants revealed a nonsynergistic effect, as indicated by FICIs between >0. 5 and =0. 70. In addition to inhibiting the growth of planktonic bacteria, the peptide combinations significantly decreased static biofilm growth compared with treatment with the individual peptides. There was also a faster and more prolonged effect when the combination of PMB and GS was used compared with single-peptide treatments on the metabolic activity of pregrown biofilms. THE RESULTS
of the present study define a synergistic interaction between two cyclic membrane-active peptides toward 17 multidrug-resistant P.aeruginosa and biofilms of P. aeruginosa strain PAO1. Thus, the application of PMB and GS in combination is a promising option for a topical medication and in the prevention of acute and chronic infections caused by multidrug-resistant or biofilm-forming P. aeruginosa.