Synergistic Activity of Berberine with Azithromycin against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Isolated from Patients with Cystic Fibrosis of Lung In Vitro and In Vivo.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017 Jul 24 ;42(4):1657-1669. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28738346
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is one of the major opportunistic pathogens which can cause chronic lung infection of cystic fibrosis (CF). The formation of PA biofilm promotes CF development and restricts the antimicrobial efficacies of current antibiotics.
METHODS: The antimicrobial effects of azithromycin (AZM) and berberine (BER) alone and in combination were evaluated using microdilution method, checkerboard assay, time-kill test, qRT-PCR analysis and absorption method. The treatments of AZM and/or BER were further evaluated in an animal lung infection model via observing survival rate, bacterial burden and histopathology of lung, the levels of pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokines.
RESULTS: AZM-BER were demonstrated to be synergistic against ten clinical PA isolates as well as the standard reference PA ATCC27853, in which PA03 was the most susceptible isolate to AZM-BER with FICI of 0.13 and chosen for subsequent experiments. The synergism of AZM-BER was further confirmed against PA03 in time-kill test and scanning electron microscope (SEM) at their concentrations showing synergism. In PA03, we found that AZM-BER could significantly attenuate productions of a series of virulence factors including alginate, LasA protease, LasB protease, pyoverdin, pyocyanin, chitinase as well as extracellular DNA, and remarkably inhibit the levels of quorum sensing (QS) molecules and the expressions of lasI, lasR, rhlI, rhlR at 1/2×MIC, 1×MIC and 2×MIC. In the infection model, the mice survival were increased markedly, the inflammations of infected lungs were improved greatly along with reduced IL-6, IL-8 and ascended IL-10 at 0.8 mg/kg of AZM combined with 3.2 mg/kg of BER.
CONCLUSION: BER might be a promising synergist to enhance the antimicrobial activity of AZM in vitro and in vivo.