Efflux pump inhibitor potentiates antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation of enterococcus faecalis biofilm

Anil Kishen, Megha Upadya, George P. Tegos, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial biofilm architecture contains numerous protective features, including extracellular polymeric material that render biofilms impermeable to conventional antimicrobial agents. This study evaluated the efficacy of antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (aPDI) of Enterococcus faecalis biofilms. The ability of a cationic, phenothiazinium photosensitizer, methylene blue (MB) and an anionic, xanthene photosensitizer, rose bengal (RB) to inactivate biofilms of E. faecalis (OG1RF and FA 2-2) and disrupt the biofilm structure was evaluated. Bacterial cells were tested as planktonic suspensions, intact biofilms and biofilm-derived suspensions obtained by the mechanical disruption of biofilms. The role of a specific microbial efflux pump inhibitor (EPI), verapamil hydrochloride in the MB-mediated aPDI of E. faecalis biofilms was also investigated. The results showed that E. faecalis biofilms exhibited significantly higher resistance to aPDI when compared with E. faecalis in suspension (P < 0.001). aPDI with cationic MB produced superior inactivation of E. faecalis strains in a biofilm along with significant destruction of biofilm structure when compared with anionic RB (P < 0.05). The ability to inactivate biofilm bacteria was further enhanced when the EPI was used with MB (P < 0.001). These experiments demonstrated the advantage of a cationic phenothiazinium photosensitizer combined with an EPI to inactivate biofilm bacteria and disrupt biofilm structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1349
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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