Background: Biofilm production is an important mechanism for bacterial survival and its association with antimicrobial resistance represents a challenge for the patient treatment. In this study we evaluated the in vitro action of macrolides in combination with anti-pseudomonal agents on biofilm-grown Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.
Results: A total of 64 isolates were analysed. The biofilm inhibitory concentration (BIC) results were consistently higher than those obtained by the conventional method, minimal inhibitory concentration, (MIC) for most anti-pseudomonal agents tested (ceftazidime: P = 0.001, tobramycin: P = 0.001, imipenem: P < 0.001, meropenem: P = 0.005). When macrolides were associated with the anti-pseudomonal agents, the BIC values were reduced significantly for ceftazidime (P < 0.001) and tobramycin (P < 0.001), regardless the concentration of macrolides. Strong inhibitory quotient was observed when azithromycin at 8 mg/L was associated with all anti-pseudomonal agents tested in biofilm conditions.
Conclusions: P. aeruginosa from CF patients within biofilms are highly resistant to antibiotics but macrolides proved to augment the in vitro activity of anti-pseudomonal agents.