Potential use of targeted enzymatic agents in the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm-related infections

J Hosp Infect. 2017 Jun;96(2):177-182. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2017.02.008. Epub 2017 Feb 16.


Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections. The ability of S. aureus to attach and subsequently accumulate on the surfaces of implanted medical devices and in host tissues makes infections caused by this pathogen difficult to treat. Current treatments have been shown to have limited effect on surface-associated S. aureus, and may be enhanced by the addition of a dispersal agent. This study assessed the enzymatic agents dispersin B, lysostaphin, alpha amylase, V8 protease and serrapeptase, alone and in combination with vancomycin and rifampicin, against biofilms formed by meticillin-resistant and -susceptible strains of S. aureus. The efficacy of both antibiotics was enhanced when combined with any of the dispersal agents. Lysostaphin and serrapeptase were the most effective dispersal agents against all strains tested. These data indicate that combinations of biofilm dispersal agents and antibiotics may extend the therapeutic options for the treatment of S. aureus biofilm-associated infections.

Keywords: Biofilm; Catheter; Enzyme; S. aureus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Enzymes / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Enzymes