Highly synergistic activity of melittin with imipenem and colistin in biofilm inhibition against multidrug-resistant strong biofilm producer strains of Acinetobacter baumannii.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2018 Mar ;37(3):443-454. Epub 2018 Jan 20. PMID: 29353377
Ali Mohammadi Bardbari
The rapid increase of drug resistance and failure of available antibiotics to treat biofilm-associated infections is of great health concern. Accordingly, our study aimed to evaluate the synergistic antibacterial, biofilm inhibitory, and biofilm removal activities of melittin in combination with colistin, imipenem, and ciprofloxacin against multidrug-resistant (MDR) strong biofilm producer Acinetobacter baumannii isolates. The kinetics of biofilm formation were evaluated for the isolates for 144 h. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs), minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs), and biofilm removal activities for melittin and combinations with antibiotics were determined. Inhibition of biofilm-associated protein (bap) expression by melittin was evaluated with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) was used to visualize the effect of synergism on the inhibition of biofilm production. The geometric means of the fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICi) for melittin-colistin, melittin-imipenem, and melittin-ciprofloxacin combinations were calculated as 0.31, 0.24, and 0.94, respectively. Comparing the geometric means of the removal activity for melittin, colistin, imipenem, and combinations of them in both 6 and 24 h showed a significant difference between the groups (p-value< 0.05). Exposure to melittin induced a statistically significant downregulation of bap mRNA levels in all isolates at sub-MIC doses. Analysis of the FE-SEM results demonstrated that the synergism of melittin-colistin at 0.125-0.25 μg inhibited biofilm formation completely. In conclusion, our findings indicate that melittin possesses considerable potential for use in combination with colistin and imipenem to treat infections caused by MDR strong biofilm producer A. baumannii isolates.