Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection is the most severe complication in cystic fibrosis patients. It is characterised by antibiotic-tolerant biofilms in the endobronchial mucus with zones of oxygen (O2) depletion mainly due to polymorphonuclear leucocyte activity. Whilst the exact mechanisms affecting antibiotic effectiveness on biofilms remain unclear, accumulating evidence suggests that the efficacy of several bactericidal antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin is enhanced by stimulation of the aerobic respiration of pathogens, and that lack of O2 increases their tolerance. Reoxygenation of O2-depleted biofilms may thus improve susceptibility to ciprofloxacin possibly by restoring aerobic respiration. We tested such a strategy using reoxygenation of O2-depleted P. aeruginosa strain PAO1 agarose-embedded biofilms by hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) (100% O2, 2.8bar), enhancing the diffusive supply for aerobic respiration during ciprofloxacin treatment. This proof-of-principle study demonstrates that biofilm reoxygenation by HBOT can significantly enhance the bactericidal activity of ciprofloxacin on P. aeruginosa. Combining ciprofloxacin treatment with HBOT thus clearly has potential to improve the treatment of P. aeruginosa biofilm infections.
Kolpen, Mousavi, Sams, Bjarnsholt, Ciofu, Moser, Kühl, Høiby (2016). Reinforcement of the bactericidal effect of ciprofloxacin on Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm by hyperbaric oxygen treatment. International journal of antimicrobial agents, 2016 Feb;47(2):163-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26774522