Objectives: To determine the antimicrobial activity of ALX-009, a combination of bovine lactoferrin and hypothiocyanite, in sputum against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), key pathogens causing infection in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.
Methods: The antimicrobial activity of ALX-009 against clinical respiratory P. aeruginosa isolates was determined by time-kill assay. Sputum from CF patients was treated with ALX-009, either alone or in combination with tobramycin, and the effect on P. aeruginosa, Bcc and total sputum density was determined.
Results: Time-kill assay indicated that ALX-009 was bactericidal at 24 h against 4/4 P. aeruginosa isolates under aerobic conditions, and against 3/4 isolates under anaerobic conditions. ALX-009 was also bactericidal against P. aeruginosa in sputum samples at 6 h (n = 22/24 samples) and 24 h (n = 14/24 samples), and demonstrated significantly greater activity than tobramycin at both timepoints. Activity against Bcc in sputum samples (n = 9) was also demonstrated, but the magnitude of change in Bcc density was less than for P. aeruginosa. To determine the effect of treating sputum with two doses of ALX-009, similar to current regimens for inhaled antibiotics, aliquots of a further 10 sputum samples positive for P. aeruginosa were treated with one (t = 0 h) or two doses (t = 0 h, t = 12 h) of ALX-009; treatment with two doses resulted in bactericidal activity in 7/10 samples at 34 h compared with only 3/10 samples when treatment was with one dose.
Conclusions: ALX-009 demonstrates promise as a novel antimicrobial that could be used to decrease P. aeruginosa density in the lungs of people with CF.