Antimicrobial activity of ibuprofen against cystic fibrosis-associated gram-negative pathogens

Parth N. Shah, Kimberly R. Marshall-Batty, Justin A. Smolen, Jasur A. Tagaev, Qingquan Chen, Christopher A. Rodesney, Henry H. Le, Vernita D. Gordon, David E. Greenberg, Carolyn L. Cannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of ibuprofen therapy in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, an effect that is currently attributed to ibuprofen’s antiinflammatory properties. Yet, a few previous reports demonstrated an antimicrobial activity of ibuprofen as well, although none investigated its direct effects on the pathogens found in the CF lung, which is the focus of this work. Determination of ibuprofen’s in vitro antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia species strains through measurements of the endpoint number of CFU and growth kinetics showed that ibuprofen reduced the growth rate and bacterial burden of the tested strains in a dose-dependent fashion. In an in vitro Pseudomonas biofilm model, a reduction in the rate of biomass accumulation over 8 h of growth with ibuprofen treatment was observed. Next, an acute Pseudomonas pneumonia model was used to test this antimicrobial activity after the oral delivery of ibuprofen. Following intranasal inoculation, ibuprofen-treated mice exhibited lower CFU counts and improved survival compared with the control animals. Preliminary biodistribution studies performed after the delivery of ibuprofen to mice by aerosol demonstrated a rapid accumulation of ibuprofen in serum and minimum retention in lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Therefore, ibuprofen-encapsulated polymeric nanoparticles (Ibu-NPs) were formulated to improve the pharmacokinetic profile. Ibu-NPs formulated for aerosol delivery inhibited the growth of P. aeruginosa in vitro and may provide a convenient dosing method. These results provide an additional explanation for the previously observed therapeutic effects of ibuprofen in CF patients and further strengthen the argument for its use by these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01574-17
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Antimicrobial
  • Burkholderia spp.
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Ibuprofen
  • Nanoparticles
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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