Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm killing beyond the spacer by antibiotic-loaded calcium sulfate beads: an in vitro study

Brooks, Jacob R.; Dusane, Devendra H.; Moore, Kelly; Gupta, Tripti; Delury, Craig; Aiken, Sean S.; Laycock, Phillip A.; Sullivan, Anne C.; Granger, Jeffrey F.; Dipane, Matthew V.; McPherson, Edward J.; Stoodley, Paul

Introduction: Bacterial biofilms are an important virulence factor in chronic periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) and other orthopedic infection since they are highly tolerant to antibiotics and host immunity. Antibiotics are mixed into carriers such as bone cement and calcium sulfate bone void fillers to achieve sustained high concentrations of antibiotics required to more effectively manage biofilm infections through local release. The effect of antibiotic diffusion from antibiotic-loaded calcium sulfate beads (ALCS-B) in combination with PMMA bone cement spacers on the spread and killing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Xen41 (PA-Xen41) biofilm was investigated using a “large agar plate” model scaled for clinical relevance. Methods: Bioluminescent PA-Xen41 biofilms grown on discs of various orthopedic materials were placed within a large agar plate containing a PMMA full-size mock “spacer” unloaded or loaded with vancomycin and tobramycin, with or without ALCS-B. The amount of biofilm spread and log reduction on discs at varying distances from the spacer was assessed by bioluminescent imaging and viable cell counts. Results: For the unloaded spacer control, PA-Xen41 spread from the biofilm to cover the entire plate. The loaded spacer generated a 3 cm zone of inhibition and significantly reduced biofilm bacteria on the discs immediately adjacent to the spacer but low or zero reductions on those further away. The combination of ALCS-B and a loaded PMMA spacer greatly reduced bacterial spread and resulted in significantly greater biofilm reductions on discs at all distances from the spacer. Discussion: The addition of ALCS-B to an antibiotic-loaded spacer mimic increased the area of antibiotic coverage and efficacy against biofilm, suggesting that a combination of these depots may provide greater physical antibiotic coverage and more effective dead space management, particularly in zones where the spread of antibiotic is limited by diffusion (zones with little or no fluid motion).

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Brooks, Jacob R. / Dusane, Devendra H. / Moore, Kelly / et al: Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm killing beyond the spacer by antibiotic-loaded calcium sulfate beads: an in vitro study. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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