Activity of gallium meso-and protoporphyrin ix against biofilms of multidrug-resistant acinetobacter baumannii isolates

David Chang*, Rebecca A. Garcia, Kevin S. Akers, Katrin Mende, Clinton K. Murray, Joseph C. Wenke, Carlos J. Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Acinetobacter baumannii is a challenging pathogen due to antimicrobial resistance and biofilm development. The role of iron in bacterial physiology has prompted the evaluation of iron-modulation as an antimicrobial strategy. The non-reducible iron analog gallium(III) nitrate, Ga(NO3)3, has been shown to inhibit A. baumannii planktonic growth; however, utilization of heme-iron by clinical isolates has been associated with development of tolerance. These observations prompted the evaluation of iron-heme sources on planktonic and biofilm growth, as well as antimicrobial activities of gallium meso-and protoporphyrin IX (Ga-MPIX and Ga-PPIX), metal heme derivatives against planktonic and biofilm bacteria of multidrug-resistant (MDR) clinical isolates of A. baumannii in vitro. Ga(NO3)3 was moderately effective at reducing planktonic bacteria (64 to 128 _M) with little activity against biofilms (≥512 μM). In contrast, Ga-MPIX and Ga-PPIX were highly active against planktonic bacteria (0.25 to 8 μM). Cytotoxic effects in human fibroblasts were observed following exposure to concentrations exceeding 128 μM of Ga-MPIX and Ga-PPIX.We observed that the gallium metal heme conjugates were more active against planktonic and biofilm bacteria, possibly due to utilization of heme-iron as demonstrated by the enhanced effects on bacterial growth and biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Biofilm
  • Gallium mesoporphyrin IX
  • Gallium protoporphyrin IX
  • Multidrug-resistant


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