Targeting polyelectrolyte networks in purulent body fluids to modulate bactericidal properties of some antibiotics

Infect Drug Resist. 2018 Jan 11;11:77-86. doi: 10.2147/IDR.S145337. eCollection 2018.


The response of the human immune system to most bacterial infections results in accumulation of neutrophils at infection sites that release a significant quantity of DNA and F-actin. Both are negatively charged polyelectrolytes that can interact with positively charged host defense molecules such as cathelicidin-delivered LL-37 peptide or other cationic antibiotic agents. Evaluation of the ability of bacterial outgrowth (using luminescence measurements or counting colony-forming units) to form a biofilm (quantified by crystal violet staining) and analysis of the structure of DNA/F-actin network by optical microscopy in human pus samples treated with different antibiotics in combination with plasma gelsolin, DNAse 1, and/or poly-aspartic acid revealed that bactericidal activity of most tested antibacterial agents increases in the presence of DNA/F-actin depolymerizing factors.

Keywords: DNase 1; antibiotic activity; cathelicidin; ceragenins; cystic fibrosis; depolymerizing factors; polyelectrolyte network.