The effect of N-acetylcysteine on biofilms: Implications for the treatment of respiratory tract infections

F. Blasi, Clive P. Page, G.M. Rossolini, Lucia Pallecchi, Maria G. Matera, Paola Rogliani, M. Cazzola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives In airway infections, biofilm formation has been demonstrated to be responsible for both acute and chronic events, and constitutes a genuine challenge in clinical practice. Difficulty in eradicating biofilms with systemic antibiotics has led clinicians to consider the possible role of non-antibiotic therapy. The aim of this review is to examine current evidence for the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of biofilm-related respiratory infections. Methods Electronic searches of PUBMED up to September 2015 were conducted, searching for 'biofilm', 'respiratory tract infection', 'N-acetylcysteine', 'cystic fibrosis', 'COPD', 'bronchiectasis', 'otitis', and 'bronchitis' in titles and abstracts. Studies included for review were primarily in English, but a few in Italian were also selected. Results Biofilm formation may be involved in many infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory airway infections. Many in vitro studies have demonstrated that NAC is effective in inhibiting biofilm formation, disrupting preformed biofilms (both initial and mature), and reducing bacterial viability in biofilms. There are fewer clinical studies on the use of NAC in disruption of biofilm formation, although there is some evidence that NAC alone or in combination with antibiotics can decrease the risk of exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and rhinosinusitis. However, the usefulness of NAC in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis is still matter of debate. Most of the studies published to date have used oral or intramuscular NAC formulations. Conclusions Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that NAC has good antibacterial properties and the ability to interfere with biofilm formation and disrupt biofilms. Results from clinical studies have provided some encouraging findings that need to be confirmed and expanded using other routes of administration of NAC such as inhalation. © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Volume117
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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The effect of N-acetylcysteine on biofilms: Implications for the treatment of respiratory tract infections. / Blasi, F.; Page, Clive P.; Rossolini, G.M.; Pallecchi, Lucia; Matera, Maria G.; Rogliani, Paola; Cazzola, M.

In: Respiratory Medicine, Vol. 117, 2016, p. 190-197.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blasi, F. ; Page, Clive P. ; Rossolini, G.M. ; Pallecchi, Lucia ; Matera, Maria G. ; Rogliani, Paola ; Cazzola, M. / The effect of N-acetylcysteine on biofilms: Implications for the treatment of respiratory tract infections. In: Respiratory Medicine. 2016 ; Vol. 117. pp. 190-197.
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abstract = "Objectives In airway infections, biofilm formation has been demonstrated to be responsible for both acute and chronic events, and constitutes a genuine challenge in clinical practice. Difficulty in eradicating biofilms with systemic antibiotics has led clinicians to consider the possible role of non-antibiotic therapy. The aim of this review is to examine current evidence for the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of biofilm-related respiratory infections. Methods Electronic searches of PUBMED up to September 2015 were conducted, searching for 'biofilm', 'respiratory tract infection', 'N-acetylcysteine', 'cystic fibrosis', 'COPD', 'bronchiectasis', 'otitis', and 'bronchitis' in titles and abstracts. Studies included for review were primarily in English, but a few in Italian were also selected. Results Biofilm formation may be involved in many infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory airway infections. Many in vitro studies have demonstrated that NAC is effective in inhibiting biofilm formation, disrupting preformed biofilms (both initial and mature), and reducing bacterial viability in biofilms. There are fewer clinical studies on the use of NAC in disruption of biofilm formation, although there is some evidence that NAC alone or in combination with antibiotics can decrease the risk of exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and rhinosinusitis. However, the usefulness of NAC in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis is still matter of debate. Most of the studies published to date have used oral or intramuscular NAC formulations. Conclusions Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that NAC has good antibacterial properties and the ability to interfere with biofilm formation and disrupt biofilms. Results from clinical studies have provided some encouraging findings that need to be confirmed and expanded using other routes of administration of NAC such as inhalation. {\circledC} 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.",
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T1 - The effect of N-acetylcysteine on biofilms: Implications for the treatment of respiratory tract infections

AU - Blasi, F.

AU - Page, Clive P.

AU - Rossolini, G.M.

AU - Pallecchi, Lucia

AU - Matera, Maria G.

AU - Rogliani, Paola

AU - Cazzola, M.

N1 - Cited By :4 Export Date: 28 March 2017

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Objectives In airway infections, biofilm formation has been demonstrated to be responsible for both acute and chronic events, and constitutes a genuine challenge in clinical practice. Difficulty in eradicating biofilms with systemic antibiotics has led clinicians to consider the possible role of non-antibiotic therapy. The aim of this review is to examine current evidence for the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of biofilm-related respiratory infections. Methods Electronic searches of PUBMED up to September 2015 were conducted, searching for 'biofilm', 'respiratory tract infection', 'N-acetylcysteine', 'cystic fibrosis', 'COPD', 'bronchiectasis', 'otitis', and 'bronchitis' in titles and abstracts. Studies included for review were primarily in English, but a few in Italian were also selected. Results Biofilm formation may be involved in many infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory airway infections. Many in vitro studies have demonstrated that NAC is effective in inhibiting biofilm formation, disrupting preformed biofilms (both initial and mature), and reducing bacterial viability in biofilms. There are fewer clinical studies on the use of NAC in disruption of biofilm formation, although there is some evidence that NAC alone or in combination with antibiotics can decrease the risk of exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and rhinosinusitis. However, the usefulness of NAC in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis is still matter of debate. Most of the studies published to date have used oral or intramuscular NAC formulations. Conclusions Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that NAC has good antibacterial properties and the ability to interfere with biofilm formation and disrupt biofilms. Results from clinical studies have provided some encouraging findings that need to be confirmed and expanded using other routes of administration of NAC such as inhalation. © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

AB - Objectives In airway infections, biofilm formation has been demonstrated to be responsible for both acute and chronic events, and constitutes a genuine challenge in clinical practice. Difficulty in eradicating biofilms with systemic antibiotics has led clinicians to consider the possible role of non-antibiotic therapy. The aim of this review is to examine current evidence for the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of biofilm-related respiratory infections. Methods Electronic searches of PUBMED up to September 2015 were conducted, searching for 'biofilm', 'respiratory tract infection', 'N-acetylcysteine', 'cystic fibrosis', 'COPD', 'bronchiectasis', 'otitis', and 'bronchitis' in titles and abstracts. Studies included for review were primarily in English, but a few in Italian were also selected. Results Biofilm formation may be involved in many infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory airway infections. Many in vitro studies have demonstrated that NAC is effective in inhibiting biofilm formation, disrupting preformed biofilms (both initial and mature), and reducing bacterial viability in biofilms. There are fewer clinical studies on the use of NAC in disruption of biofilm formation, although there is some evidence that NAC alone or in combination with antibiotics can decrease the risk of exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and rhinosinusitis. However, the usefulness of NAC in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis is still matter of debate. Most of the studies published to date have used oral or intramuscular NAC formulations. Conclusions Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that NAC has good antibacterial properties and the ability to interfere with biofilm formation and disrupt biofilms. Results from clinical studies have provided some encouraging findings that need to be confirmed and expanded using other routes of administration of NAC such as inhalation. © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

KW - Airways infections

KW - Biofilm

KW - Inhaled formulation

KW - N-acetylcysteine

KW - Topical administration

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DO - 10.1016/j.rmed.2016.06.015

M3 - Article

VL - 117

SP - 190

EP - 197

JO - Respiratory Medicine

JF - Respiratory Medicine

SN - 0954-6111

ER -