Mechanistic action of weak acid drugs on biofilms
Rice, Scott A.
Doyle, Patrick S.
Date of Issue2017
School of Biological Sciences
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering
Selective permeability of a biofilm matrix to some drugs has resulted in the development of drug tolerant bacteria. Here we studied the efficacy of a weak organic acid drug, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), on the eradication of biofilms formed by the mucoid strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and investigated the commonality of this drug with that of acetic acid. We showed that NAC and acetic acid at pH < pKa can penetrate the matrix and eventually kill 100% of the bacteria embedded in the biofilm. Once the bacteria are killed, the microcolonies swell in size and passively shed bacteria, suggesting that the bacteria act as crosslinkers within the extracellular matrix. Despite shedding of the bacteria, the remnant matrix remains intact and behaves as a pH-responsive hydrogel. These studies not only have implications for drug design but also offer a route to generate robust soft matter materials.
Weak Acid Drug
Weak Acid Drug
© 2017 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.