Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/15417
Combination of Cefditoren and N-acetyl-l-Cysteine Shows a Synergistic Effect against Multidrug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae Biofilms
Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Dec 21;10(6):e0341522.
Biofilm formation by Streptococcus pneumoniae is associated with colonization of the upper respiratory tract, including the carrier state, and with chronic respiratory infections in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The use of antibiotics alone to treat recalcitrant infections caused by biofilms is insufficient in many cases, requiring novel strategies based on a combination of antibiotics with other agents, including antibodies, enzybiotics, and antioxidants. In this work, we demonstrate that the third-generation oral cephalosporin cefditoren (CDN) and the antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) are synergistic against pneumococcal biofilms. Additionally, the combination of CDN and NAC resulted in the inhibition of bacterial growth (planktonic and biofilm cells) and destruction of the biofilm biomass. This marked antimicrobial effect was also observed in terms of viability in both inhibition (prevention) and disaggregation (treatment) assays. Moreover, the use of CDN and NAC reduced bacterial adhesion to human lung epithelial cells, confirming that this strategy of combining these two compounds is effective against resistant pneumococcal strains colonizing the lung epithelium. Finally, administration of CDN and NAC in mice suffering acute pneumococcal pneumonia caused by a multidrug-resistant strain was effective in clearing the bacteria from the respiratory tract in comparison to treatment with either compound alone. Overall, these results demonstrate that the combination of oral cephalosporins and antioxidants, such as CDN and NAC, respectively, is a promising strategy against respiratory biofilms caused by S. pneumoniae. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the deadliest bacterial pathogens, accounting for up to 2 million deaths annually prior to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Vaccines have decreased the burden of diseases produced by S. pneumoniae, but the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains and nonvaccine serotypes is worrisome. Pneumococcal biofilms are associated with chronic respiratory infections, and treatment is challenging, making the search for new antibiofilm therapies a priority as biofilms become resistant to traditional antibiotics. In this work, we used the combination of an antibiotic (CDN) and an antioxidant (NAC) to treat the pneumococcal biofilms of relevant clinical isolates. We demonstrated a synergy between CDN and NAC that inhibited and treated pneumococcal biofilms, impaired pneumococcal adherence to the lung epithelium, and treated pneumonia in a mouse pneumonia model. We propose the widely used cephalosporin CDN and the repurposed drug NAC as a new antibiofilm therapy against S. pneumoniae biofilms, including those formed by antibiotic-resistant clinical isolates.
COVID-19 | Respiratory Tract Infections | Humans | Animals | Mice | Streptococcus pneumoniae | Acetylcysteine | Antioxidants | SARS-CoV-2 | Cephalosporins | Biofilms | Anti-Bacterial Agents
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