by Thomas S. Murray, Chinweike Okegbe, Yuan Gao, Barbara I. Kazmierczak, Roberto Motterlini, Lars E. P. Dietrich, Emanuela M. Bruscia
Chronic infections resulting from biofilm formation are difficult to eradicate with current antimicrobial agents and consequently new therapies are needed. This work demonstrates that the carbon monoxide-releasing molecule CORM-2, previously shown to kill planktonic bacteria, also attenuates surface-associated growth of the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by both preventing biofilm maturation and killing bacteria within the established biofilm. CORM-2 treatment has an additive effect when combined with tobramycin, a drug commonly used to treat P. aeruginosa lung infections. CORM-2 inhibited biofilm formation and planktonic growth of the majority of clinical P. aeruginosa isolates tested, for both mucoid and non-mucoid strains. While CORM-2 treatment increased the production of reactive oxygen species by P. aeruginosa biofilms, this increase did not correlate with bacterial death. These data demonstrate that CO-RMs possess potential novel therapeutic properties against a subset of P. aeruginosa biofilm related infections.