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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 343-353

Pentacyclic triterpenes combined with ciprofloxacin help to eradicate the biofilm formed in vitro by Escherichia coli

Department of Biology & Medical Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Dorota Wojnicz
Department of Biology & Medical Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.156631

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Background & objectives: Ciprofloxacin is commonly used in clinical practice for the treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli. However, very often these recurrent infections are due to a failure in a complete eradication of the microorganisms colonizing the urinary tract, especially in catheterized patients. To enhance the bactericidal activity of ciprofloxacin against biofilm-forming uropathogenic E. coli (UPECs), we examined its effect in combination with two pentacyclic triterpenes - asiatic and ursolic acids. Methods: The anti-biofilm activity of ciprofloxacin and pentacyclic triterpenes - asiatic acid (AA) and ursolic acid (UA), as well as their synergistic effect were tested on two types of surfaces - polystyrene microtiter plates and silicone catheters. It was investigated using the time-killing and biofilm assays. Results: a0 nti-biofilm activity of ciprofloxacin was not observed on microtiter plates or on the catheters. Ciprofloxacin combined with ursolic acid inhibited the biofilm formation on microtitre plates. This mixture, however, did not express such a strong activity against the synthesis of biofilm on the surface of catheters. Ciprofloxacin combined with asiatic acid had very weak inhibiting effect on the synthesis of biofilm mass on microtitre plates as well as on the catheters. Despite this, both mixtures - ciprofloxacin and asiatic acid, as well as ciprofloxacin and ursolic acid, exhibited strong and significant impact on the eradication of mature biofilm (P < 0.05). Interpretation & conclusions: Although ciprofloxacin is recommended in the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by UPECs, but its efficacy is arguable. Subinhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin did not inhibit the formation of biofilm. Pentacyclic triterpenes used in combination with ciprofloxacin enhanced its anti-biofilm effectiveness. However, this anti-biofilm activity was found to depend on the type of surface on which biofilm was formed.

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