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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012 Aug;40(2):173-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

In vitro prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa early biofilm formation with antibiotics used in cystic fibrosis patients.

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Servicio de Microbiología, and CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS) and Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, 28034 Madrid, Spain.


The ability of antibiotics used in bronchopulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients to prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa early biofilm formation was studied using a biofilm microtitre assay with 57 non-mucoid P. aeruginosa isolates (44 first colonisers and 13 recovered during the initial intermittent colonisation stage) obtained from 35 CF patients. Minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (BICs) of levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, imipenem, ceftazidime, tobramycin, colistin and azithromycin were determined by placing a peg lid with a formed biofilm onto microplates containing antibiotics. A modification of this protocol consisting of antibiotic challenge during biofilm formation was implemented in order to determine the biofilm prevention concentration (BPC), i.e. the minimum concentration able to prevent biofilm formation. The lowest BPCs were for fluoroquinolones, tobramycin and colistin and the highest for ceftazidime and imipenem. The former antibiotics had BPCs identical to or only slightly higher than their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) determined by standard Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) microdilution and were also active on formed biofilms as reflected by their low BIC values. In contrast, ceftazidime and imipenem were less effective for prevention of biofilm formation and on formed biofilms. In conclusion, the new BPC parameter determined in non-mucoid P. aeruginosa isolates recovered during early colonisation stages in CF patients supports early aggressive antimicrobial treatment guidelines in first P. aeruginosa-colonised CF patients.

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