Ibuprofen worsens Streptococcus pyogenes soft tissue infections in mice

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2011 Dec;44(6):418-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jmii.2011.04.012. Epub 2011 Jun 22.


Background: Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a common cause of soft tissue infection. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been reported to worsen GAS soft tissue infections.

Methods: A mouse model of GAS soft tissue infection was developed. The extent of cutaneous lesions, tissue damage, release of inflammatory cytokines, and survival rates were compared between mice with and without ibuprofen administration after GAS soft tissue infection.

Results: All twelve mice without ibuprofen administration survived for at least 10 days. In contrast, mortality rate of 14 mice with ibuprofen therapy was 72.5%. Ibuprofen-treated mice exhibited more evident macrophage infiltration and tissue damage in the GAS-infected soft tissues. In GAS-infected mice, tissue levels of interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha were significantly higher in ibuprofen-treated mice than those in the control group.

Conclusions: The results supported the concept that ibuprofen use in GAS soft tissue infections might induce the development of severe necrotizing infections and increase mortality rate.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / chemically induced
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / microbiology
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Ibuprofen / toxicity*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Soft Tissue Infections / drug therapy*
  • Soft Tissue Infections / metabolism
  • Soft Tissue Infections / microbiology*
  • Soft Tissue Infections / pathology
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Streptococcal Infections / metabolism
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / pathology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / drug effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Ibuprofen