PAMAM-dendrimer Enhanced Antibacterial Effect of Vancomycin Hydrochloride Against Gram-Negative Bacteria

Azadeh Serri1, Arash Mahboubi2, Afshin Zarghi1, Hamid Reza Moghimi1

1Department of Pharmaceutics and Nanotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2Food Safety Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran. Iran.


Purpose: The antibacterial activity of some antibiotics is specific to either Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria.  There are different mechanisms behind such insensitivities like inability of antibiotics to permeate through some bacterial membranes, as is the case for vancomycin in Gram-negative bacteria. The present investigation tries to overcome this problem by dendrimers, in order to make Gram-negative bacteria responsive to vancomycin. Methods: The effects of generations 3 (G3) and 5 (G5) polyamidoamine amine-terminated dendrimers (NH2-PAMAM), on the antibacterial activity of vancomycin, were evaluated. Vancomycin-PAMAM dendrimers complexes were prepared and their antibacterial activities were evaluated by determination of their “minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)”, “minimum bactericidal concentration” and “fractional inhibitory concentration index” values against two Gram-positive and four Gram-negative bacteria, using broth micro-dilution method. The complexation of vancomycin and dendrimers was also assessed by in vitro release studies across dialysis tubing using a developed HPLC method. Results: Results showed that vancomycin solution was effective against Gram-positive bacteria, but, was not effective in Gram-negative ones. Vancomycin-PAMAM dendrimers exhibited significant antibacterial efficacy against Gram-negative bacteria resulting in a decline of vancomycin MIC values by about 2, 2, 4 and 64 times in E. coli, K. pneumonia, S. typhimurium and P. aeruginosa, respectively. Results also showed that enhanced effect by G5 is more than G3. Dendrimers did not affect antibacterial activity of vancomycin in Gram-positive bacteria, as no permeation problem exists here. Conclusions: The present study revealed that both G3 and G5 cationic PAMAM dendrimers are able to make Gram-negative bacteria sensitive to vancomycin, resulting in decline of MIC values up to 64 times, possibly by increasing its permeation through bacterial membrane. These results look promising for broadening the antibacterial spectrum of vancomycin and such a strategy might be used for increasing the overall life of antibiotics.

J Pharm Pharm Sci, 22 (1): 10-21, 2019

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