Thymol Inhibits Biofilm Formation, Eliminates Pre-Existing Biofilms, and Enhances Clearance of Methicillin-Resistant(MRSA) in a Mouse Peritoneal Implant Infection Model.
Microorganisms. 2020 Jan 10 ;8(1). Epub 2020 Jan 10. PMID: 31936809
Methicillin-resistant(MRSA) is a common human pathogen that causes several difficult-to-treat infections, including biofilm-associated infections. The biofilm-forming ability ofplays a pivotal role in its resistance to most currently available antibiotics, including vancomycin, which is the first-choice drug for treating MRSA infections. In this study, the ability of thymol (a monoterpenoid phenol isolated from plants) to inhibit biofilm formation and to eliminate mature biofilms, was assessed. We found that thymol could inhibit biofilm formation and remove mature biofilms by inhibiting the production of polysaccharide intracellular adhesin (PIA) and the release of extracellular DNA (eDNA). However, cotreatment with thymol and vancomycin was more effective at eliminating MRSA biofilms, in a mouse infection model, than monotherapy with vancomycin. Comparative histopathological analyses revealed that thymol reduced the pathological changes and inflammatory responses in the wounds. Assessments of white blood cell counts and serum TNF-α and IL-6 levels showed reduced inflammation and an increased immune response following treatment with thymol and vancomycin. These results indicate that combinatorial treatment with thymol and vancomycin has the potential to serve as a more effective therapy for MRSA biofilm-associated infectionsthan vancomycin monotherapy.