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Interactions Of Antimicrobial Compounds With Cross-linking Agents Of Alginate Dressings.

C. H. Goh, P. Heng, E. P. Huang, Benny Li, L. Chan
Published 2008 · Chemistry, Medicine

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OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial activities of calcium ions and other cross-linking agents of alginate dressings, as well as their compatibility with commonly used topical antimicrobials. METHODS The antimicrobial activities of cross-linking agents and antimicrobials (five antibiotics and four antiseptics) were evaluated by the broth dilution method. The interactions between individual cross-linking agents and antimicrobials were evaluated using the chequerboard test against common skin pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. RESULTS From the MIC determined, antibiotics were the most active, followed by the antiseptics and cross-linking agents. Calcium ions, which are commonly used to cross-link alginate, exhibited very weak antimicrobial activity and higher fractional inhibitory concentration than the other cross-linking agents. The use of calcium and gentamicin resulted in antagonism against S. aureus. In contrast, aluminium, zinc and copper ions exhibited higher antimicrobial activities but insignificant interactions with the antimicrobials. CONCLUSIONS Commonly used topical antimicrobials that are active against the skin pathogens S. aureus and P. aeruginosa could be potentially incompatible with calcium alginate dressings. Copper, zinc and aluminium ions are more suitable cross-linking agents for alginate as they do not show antagonism with the antimicrobials and could impart antimicrobial property to the resultant dressing.
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