Author(s): ElNakeeb MA, AbouShleib HM, Khalil AM, Omar HG, ElHalfawy OM
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Abstract Several antihistaminics possess antibacterial activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria. However, the exact mechanism of such activity was unclear. Hence, the aim of this study is to investigate their mechanism of antibacterial activity especially their effect upon the permeability of the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane. The effects of azelastine, cetirizine, cyproheptadine and diphenhydramine were studied using Gram-positive and Gram-negative multiresistant clinical isolates. Leakage of 260 and 280 nm UV-absorbing materials was detected upon treatment with the tested antihistaminics; indicative of membrane alteration. Using an artificial membrane model, cholesterol-free negatively-charged unilamellar liposomes, confirmed the effect of antihistaminics upon the membrane permeability both by showing an apparent membrane damage as observed microscopically and by detection of leakage of preloaded dye from the liposomes colorimatrically. Moreover, examination of the ultrastructure of cells treated with azelastine and cetirizine under the transmission electron microscope substantiated the detected abnormalities in the cell wall and membrane. Furthermore, the effect of pretreating certain isolates for both short and long periods with selected antihistaminics was followed by the viable count technique. Increased vulnerability towards further exposure to azelastine was observed in cells pretreated with azelastine for 2 days and those pretreated with azelastine or cetrizine for 30 days.
This article was published in Braz J Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis