In vitro evaluation of antimicrobial features of vasopressors

Braz J Anesthesiol. Mar-Apr 2014;64(2):84-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bjane.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


Background: Drugs administered as intravenous infusion may be contaminated during several stages of production or preparation. However studies focusing on antibacterial effects of vasopressor drugs are very rare. This study investigates the in vitro antimicrobial activity of the clinically used forms of vasopressors.

Materials and methods: In vitro antimicrobial activities of vasopressor drugs of different concentrations were investigated by using the micro dilution technique. Microorganisms used in the test were Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ATCC 911, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 10145, Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 43251, Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Bacillus cereus 702 Roma, Mycobacterium smegmatis ATCC607, Candida albicans ATCC 60193, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae RSKK 251. Antibacterial assays were performed in Mueller-Hinton broth at pH 7.3 and antifungal assays were performed in buffered Yeast Nitrogen Base at pH 7.0.

Results: Two different dopamine preparations showed antimicrobial activity. No other study drug showed any antimicrobial activity.

Conclusions: In our opinion, dopamine's antibacterial effects may be advantageous for inhibiting the spread of bacterial contamination during the preparation of the infusion solutions. However, it is important that strict guidelines regarding the need for sterile equipment and deliverables be adhered to during all procedures performed in the intensive care units.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activities; Drug contamination; Vasopressor drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Acetylcysteine