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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Dec;56(12):6095-103. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01173-12. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Prevention and treatment of virulent bacterial biofilms with an enzymatic nitric oxide-releasing dressing.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The use of percutaneous medical devices often results in nosocomial infections. Attachment of microorganisms to the surfaces of these medical devices triggers biofilm formation, which presents significant complications to the health of a patient and may lead to septicemia, thromboembolism, or endocarditis if not correctly treated. Although several antimicrobials are commonly used for prevention of biofilm formation, they have limited efficacy against formed biofilms. In this study, we report the use of an enzymatic, gaseous nitric oxide (gNO)-releasing dressing for the prevention and treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Results show that the bactericidal activity against biofilms of the test strains was dependent on time and rate of gNO release from the dressing. Following 6 h of treatment, gNO-releasing dressings significantly inhibited the growth of test strains relative to vehicle control dressings, demonstrating eradication of bacterial concentrations of up to 10(5) CFU/cm(2). Complete cell death was observed for both prevention of biofilm formation and treatment of 24-h-grown biofilms after 6 h of treatment with the gNO-releasing dressings. Further, gNO-releasing dressings were more efficient against formed biofilms than other antimicrobial agents currently used. These results demonstrate that the gNO-releasing dressing can produce sufficient levels of gNO over a therapeutically relevant duration for maximal bactericidal effects against virulent bacterial strains known to cause nosocomial infections.

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