Soluble squalamine tablets for the rapid disinfection of home nebulizers of cystic fibrosis patients

J Cyst Fibros. 2012 Dec;11(6):555-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2012.05.006. Epub 2012 Jun 23.


Background: The bacterial contamination of nebulizers represents a major problem for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients that can lead to reduced nebulizer performance and increase the risk of patient reinfection by the contaminating bacteria.

Objective: We investigated the potential use of squalamine, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound, as a nebulizer disinfectant.

Methods: Pari LC nebulizers were artificially contaminated with a suspension of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa; 10(8) CFU/mL) and fungi (Candidida albicans and Aspergilus niger; 10(7) CFU/mL) and then disinfected by immersion in squalamine solution for 20 min. Glutaraldehyde and Korsolex peracetic acid were used as disinfectant controls.

Result: We found that 0.5 g/L squalamine reduced the levels of viable S. aureus and P. aeruginosa by 5 log(10) and the level of viable C. albicans by 4 log(10) after 20 min. A concentration of 2 g/L was needed to reduce the level of A. niger cells by 4 log(10) in 6 hours. Finally, a formulation of squalamine in the form of a soluble disinfecting tablet containing 2.5% (w/w) squalamine was developed and successfully applied for nebulizer disinfection.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that aminosterol derivatives may be used by CF patients for rapid and easy home nebulizer disinfection and that soluble tablets may be developed for this purpose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillosis / prevention & control
  • Aspergillus niger / drug effects
  • Aspergillus niger / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Candidiasis / prevention & control
  • Cholestanols / pharmacology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Equipment Contamination / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / prevention & control
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / growth & development
  • Solubility
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Tablets


  • Cholestanols
  • Disinfectants
  • Tablets
  • squalamine