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Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are common nosocomial pathogens responsible for biofilm-associated infections. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI), such as esomeprazole, may have novel antimicrobial properties. The objective of this study was to assess whether esomeprazole prevents sessile bacterial growth and biofilm formation and whether it may have synergistic killing effects with standard antibiotics. The antibiofilm activity of esomeprazole at 0.25 mM was tested against two strains each of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. Bacterial biofilms were prepared using a commercially available 96-peg-plate Calgary biofilm device. Sessile bacterial CFU counts and biomass were assessed during 72 hours of esomeprazole exposure. The killing activities after an additional 24 hours of vancomycin (against S. aureus) and meropenem (against P. aeruginosa) treatment with or without preexposure to esomeprazole were also assessed by CFU and biomass analyses. P. aeruginosa and S. aureus strains exposed to esomeprazole displayed decreased sessile bacterial growth and biomass (P < 0.001, each parameter). After 72 h of exposure, there was a 1-log(10) decrease in the CFU/ml of esomeprazole-exposed P. aeruginosa and S. aureus strains compared to controls (P < 0.001). After 72 h of exposure, measured absorbance was 100% greater in P. aeruginosa control strains than in esomeprazole-exposed strains (P < 0.001). Increased killing and decreased biomass were observed for esomeprazole-treated bacteria compared to untreated controls exposed to conventional antibiotics (P < 0.001, each parameter). Reduced biofilm growth after 24 h was visibly apparent by light micrographs for P. aeruginosa and S. aureus isolates exposed to esomeprazole compared to untreated controls. In conclusion, esomeprazole demonstrated an antibiofilm effect against biofilm-producing S. aureus and P. aeruginosa.


Vandana Singh, Vaneet Arora, M Jahangir Alam, Kevin W Garey. Inhibition of biofilm formation by esomeprazole in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2012 Aug;56(8):4360-4

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PMID: 22664967

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