Bidirectional alterations in antibiotics susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus-Pseudomonas aeruginosa dual-species biofilm

Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 9;10(1):14849. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71834-w.


In mixed infections, the bacterial susceptibility differs significantly compared to monocultures of bacteria, and generally the concentrations of antibiotics required for the treatment increases drastically. For S. aureus and P. aeruginosa dual species biofilms, it has been numerously reported that P. aeruginosa decreases S. aureus susceptibility to a broad range of antibiotics, including beta-lactams, glycopeptides, aminoglycosides, macrolides, while sensitizes to quinolones via secretion of various metabolites. Here we show that S. aureus also modulates the susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to antibiotics in mixed cultures. Thus, S. aureus-P. aeruginosa consortium was characterized by tenfold increase in susceptibility to ciprofloxacin and aminoglycosides compared to monocultures. The same effect could be also achieved by the addition of cell-free culture of S. aureus to P. aeruginosa biofilm. Moreover, similar increase in antibiotics efficacy could be observed following addition of S. aureus suspension to the P. aeruginosa mature biofilm, compared to P. aeruginosa monoculture, and vice versa. These findings open promising perspectives to increase the antimicrobial treatment efficacy of the wounds infected with nosocomial pathogens by the transplantation of the skin residential microflora.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Symbiosis / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents