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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(12), 22296-22308;

Chitosan Improves Anti-Biofilm Efficacy of Gentamicin through Facilitating Antibiotic Penetration

College of Science, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
The MOE Key Laboratory for Standardization of Chinese Medicines, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1200 Cailun Road, Shanghai 201203, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 October 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Antibiotic overuse is one of the major drivers in the generation of antibiotic resistant “super bugs” that can potentially cause serious effects on health. In this study, we reported that the polycationic polysaccharide, chitosan could improve the efficacy of a given antibiotic (gentamicin) to combat bacterial biofilms, the universal lifestyle of microbes in the world. Short- or long-term treatment with the mixture of chitosan and gentamicin resulted in the dispersal of Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) biofilms. In this combination, chitosan with a moderate molecular mass (~13 kDa) and high N-deacetylation degree (~88% DD) elicited an optimal anti-biofilm and bactericidal activity. Mechanistic insights indicated that chitosan facilitated the entry of gentamicin into the architecture of L. monocytogenes biofilms. Finally, we showed that this combination was also effective in the eradication of biofilms built by two other Listeria species, Listeria welshimeri and Listeria innocua. Thus, our findings pointed out that chitosan supplementation might overcome the resistance of Listeria biofilms to gentamicin, which might be helpful in prevention of gentamicin overuse in case of combating Listeria biofilms when this specific antibiotic was recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; antibiotic; biofilms; penetration chitosan; antibiotic; biofilms; penetration

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Mu, H.; Guo, F.; Niu, H.; Liu, Q.; Wang, S.; Duan, J. Chitosan Improves Anti-Biofilm Efficacy of Gentamicin through Facilitating Antibiotic Penetration. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 22296-22308.

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