The efficacy of immediate versus delayed antibiotic administration on bacterial growth and biofilm production of selected strains of uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Leah Gandee, Jer Tsong Hsieh, Vanessa Sperandio, Cristiano G. Moreira, Chih Ho Lai, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI) with antibiotics is commonly used, but recurrence and antibiotic resistance have been growing and concerning clinicians. We studied whether the rapid onset of a protective biofilm may be responsible for the lack of effectiveness of antibiotics against selected bacteria. Materials and Methods: Two established uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains, UTI89 and CFT073, and two Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains, PA01 and Boston-41501, were studied to establish a reliable biofilm formation process. Bacterial growth (BG) was determined by optical density at 600 nm (OD 600) using a spectrophotometer, while biofilm formation (BF) using crystal violet staining was measured at OD 550. Next, these bacterial strains were treated with clinically relevant antibiotics, ciprofloxacin HCl (200 ng/mL and 2 μg/mL), nitrofurantoin (20 μg/mL and 40 μg/mL) and ampicillin (50 μg/mL) at time points of 0 (T0) or after 6 hours of culture (T6). All measurements, including controls (bacteria -1% DMSO), were done in triplicates and repeated three times for consistency. Results: The tested antibiotics effectively inhibited both BG and BF when administered at T0 for UPEC strains, but not when the antibiotic administration started 6 hours later. For Pseudomonas strains, only Ciprofloxacin was able to significantly inhibit bacterial growth at T0 but only at the higher concentration of 2 μg/mL for T6. Conclusion: When established UPEC and Pseudomonas bacteria were allowed to culture for 6 hours before initialization of treatment, the therapeutic effect of selected antibiotics was greatly suppressed when compared to immediate treatment, probably as a result of the protective nature of the biofilm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Braz J Urol
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Bacterial growth
  • Biofilm formation
  • Urinary tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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