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Chemotherapy. 1998 May-Jun;44(3):190-7.

The in vitro effect of macrolides on the interaction of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in biofilm.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Oita Medical University, Japan.


The in vitro effect of macrolides at concentrations below the minimum inhibitory concentration (sub-MIC) on the interaction between Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm and human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) was investigated by using a chemiluminescence assay. The PMN response to either mucoid or nonmucoid P. aeruginosa biofilm was strongly reduced compared with the response to planktonic bacteria (p < 0.01, p < 0.001, respectively). When biofilms were treated with erythromycin, clarithromycin, roxithromycin and azithromycin prior to incubation with PMNs, the chemiluminescence response was markedly enhanced as compared to untreated controls, and a dose-dependent effect was noted over the range of sub-MIC concentrations studied. In general, macrolides appeared to be slightly more active against mucoid biofilm. Azithromycin was shown to be the most active macrolide against P. aeruginosa biofilms. However, the treatment with sub-MICs of rokitamycin did not have any effect. On the other hand, treatment of planktonic bacteria with macrolides before being exposed to the PMNs did not affect the chemiluminescence response as compared to untreated controls. These findings suggest that macrolides inhibiting the biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa may facilitate the phagocytosis of bacteria by PMNs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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