Quinolones sensitize gram-negative bacteria to antimicrobial peptides

Miguel A Campos, Pau Morey, José A Bengoechea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The treatment of infections caused by bacteria resistant to the vast majority of antibiotics is a challenge worldwide. Antimicrobial peptides (APs) make up the front line of defense in those areas exposed to microorganisms, and there is intensive research to explore their use as new antibacterial agents. On the other hand, it is known that subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics affect the expression of numerous bacterial traits. In this work we evaluated whether treatment of bacteria with subinhibitory concentrations of quinolones may alter the sensitivity to APs. A 1-h treatment of Klebsiella pneumoniae with 0.25 x the MIC of ciprofloxacin rendered bacteria more sensitive to polymyxins B and E, human neutrophil defensin 1, and beta-defensin 1. Levofloxacin and nalidixic acid at 0.25 x the MICs also increased the sensitivity of K. pneumoniae to polymyxin B, whereas gentamicin and ceftazidime at 0.25 x the MICs did not have such an effect. Ciprofloxacin also increased the sensitivities of K. pneumoniae ciprofloxacin-resistant strains to polymyxin B. Two other pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Haemophilus influenzae, also became more sensitive to polymyxins B and E after treatment with 0.25 x the MIC of ciprofloxacin. Incubation with ciprofloxacin did not alter the expression of the K. pneumoniae loci involved in resistance to APs. A 1-N-phenyl-naphthylamine assay showed that ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin increased the permeabilities of the K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa outer membranes, while divalent cations antagonized this action. Finally, we demonstrated that ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin increased the binding of APs to the outer membrane by using dansylated polymyxin B.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2361-7
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume50
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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