Unexpected synergistic and antagonistic antibiotic activity against Staphylococcus biofilms

G F Dall, Jerry Tsang, Peter Gwynne, Sam MacKenzie, Hamish Simpson, Steffen Breusch, Maurice Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

To evaluate putative anti-staphylococcal biofilm antibiotic combinations used in the management of periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs).

Using the dissolvable bead biofilm assay, the minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) was determined for the most commonly used antimicrobial agents and combination regimens against staphylococcal PJIs. The established fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index was modified to create the fractional biofilm eradication concentration (FBEC) index to evaluate synergism or antagonism between antibiotics.

Only gentamicin (MBEC 64 mg/L) and daptomycin (MBEC 64 mg/L) were observed to be effective antistaphylococcal agents at clinically achievable concentrations. Supplementation of gentamicin with daptomycin, vancomycin or ciprofloxacin resulted in a similar or lower MBEC than gentamicin alone (FBEC index 0.25–2). Conversely, when rifampicin, clindamycin or linezolid was added to gentamicin, there was an increase in the MBEC of gentamicin relative to its use as a monotherapy (FBEC index 8–32).

This study found that gentamicin and daptomycin were the only effective single-agent antibiotics against established Staphylococcus biofilms. Interestingly the addition of a bacteriostatic antibiotic was found to antagonize the ability of gentamicin to eradicate Staphylococcus biofilms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830–1840
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number7
Early online date14 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


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