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Pathog Dis. 2017 Jun 1;75(4). doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftx053.

Effect of different antibiotics on biofilm produced by uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from children with urinary tract infection.

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Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, 11600 Montevideo, Uruguay.
Departamento de Bacteriología y Virología, Instituto de Higiene, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, 11600 Montevideo, Uruguay.


Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur frequently in children and women. Intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs) and biofilm formation by Escherichia coli are risk factors for recurrence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different antibiotics on biofilms by E. coli strains isolated from children with UTI and to correlate virulence factors and IBCs with biofilm formation. A total of 116 E. coli strains were tested for biofilm formation using the crystal violet microplate technique. 58.6% of the strains did not produce biofilm, while 16.4%, 18.1% and 6.8% formed weak, moderate and strong biofilms, respectively. No correlation was found between the ability to form biofilms and the presence of IBCs. Biofilm formation was significantly associated with pili P codifying genes, whereas other virulence factors were not statistically associated. Antibiotics, including ampicillin, cephalothin, ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, amikacin and ciprofloxacin, were evaluated at different concentrations after 48 h of biofilm formation. Except ampicillin, the other antibiotics tested induced a significant reduction of biofilm biomass. In the case of recurrent UTIs potentially associated with the presence of biofilm, the use of third-generation cephalosporin, fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides could be recommended. These antibiotics demonstrated to reduce biofilm biomass produced even by resistant strains.


antibiotics; biofilm; children; treatment; urinary infection; uropathogenic Escherichia coli

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