Eradication of Biofilm-Mediated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections In Vitro: Bacteriophage- Antibiotic Combination

Razieh Kebriaei, Katherine L. Lev, Rahi M. Shah, Kyle C. Stamper, Dana J. Holger, Taylor Morrisette, Ashlan J. Kunz Coyne, Susan M. Lehman, Michael J. Rybak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Bacterial biofilms are difficult to eradicate and can complicate many infections by forming on tissues and medical devices. Phage1antibiotic combinations (PAC) may be more active on biofilms than either type of agent alone, but it is difficult to predict which PAC regimens will be reliably effective. To establish a method for screening PAC combinations against Staphylococcus aureus biofilms, we conducted biofilm time-kill analyses (TKA) using various combinations of phage Sb-1 with clinically relevant antibiotics. We determined the activity of PAC against biofilm versus planktonic bacteria and investigated the emergence of resistance during (24 h) exposure to PAC. As expected, fewer treatment regimens were effective against biofilm than planktonic bacteria. In experiments with isogenic strain pairs, we also saw less activity of PACs against DNS-VISA mutants versus their respective parentals. The most effective treatment against both biofilm and planktonic bacteria was the phage1daptomycin1ceftaroline regimen, which met our stringent definition of bactericidal activity (>3 log10 CFU/mL reduction). With the VISA-DNS strain 8015 and DNS strain 684, we detected antibiofilm synergy between Sb-1 and DAP in the phage1daptomycin regimen (.2 log10 CFU/mL reduction versus best single agent). We did not observe any bacterial resensitization to antibiotics following treatment, but phage resistance was avoided after exposure to PAC regimens for all tested strains. The release of bacterial membrane vesicles tended to be either unaffected or reduced by the various treatment regimens. Interestingly, phage yields from certain biofilm experiments were greater than from similar planktonic experiments, suggesting that Sb-1 might be more efficiently propagated on biofilm.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

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© 2022 American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.


  • MRSA
  • bacteriophages
  • biofilms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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