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Stephnie M. Kennedy, Pallavi Deshpande, Andrew G. Gallagher, Malcolm J. Horsburgh, Heather E. Allison, Stephen B. Kaye, Donald A. Wellings, Rachel L. Williams; Antimicrobial Activity of Poly-epsilon-lysine Peptide Hydrogels Against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(10):18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.10.18.
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To determine the antimicrobial activity of poly-epsilon-lysine (pɛK) functionalization of hydrogels against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Antimicrobial activities of pɛK and pɛK+ hydrogels were tested against both keratitis and a laboratory strain of P aeruginosa at a range of inocula sizes, over 4 and 24 hours. The number of viable CFU on pɛK and pɛK+ hydrogels or commercial contact lenses (CL) was investigated. Ex vivo porcine corneas were inoculated with P aeruginosa PAO1 (103 CFU) and incubated with pɛK+ hydrogels or commercial hydrogel CL for 24 hours and the effects of infection determined.
PɛK+ hydrogels showed log reductions in viable CFU compared with pɛK hydrogels for all P aeruginosa strains, depending on inocula sizes and incubation time. After 24 hours pɛK+ hydrogels showed >5 and >7.5 log reduction in CFU compared with commercial hydrogel CL at 103 and 106 CFU, respectively. In an ex vivo porcine corneal infection model, pɛK+ hydrogels led to a significant decrease in viable PAO1 CFU and histologic analysis indicated a decreased infiltration of PAO1 into the stroma.
PɛK+ hydrogels demonstrated enhanced antimicrobial activity versus nonfunctionalized pɛK hydrogels against clinically relevant P aeruginosa strains. PɛK+ hydrogels have the potential to be used as a bandage CL with innate antimicrobial characteristics to minimize the risk of microbial keratitis.
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