Background: Chlorhexidine is a widely used disinfectant in clinical settings and a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent effective against aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. However, disinfectant resistant or non-susceptible bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, have been found. This study aimed to develop a new technique to prevent and control A. baumannii infection in the hospital setting.
Methods: Chlorhexidine combined with minocycline, doxycycline, meropenem, imipenem, levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin were tested against the 30 multidrug-resistant and extremely drug-resistant A. baumannii clinical isolates. The checkerboard test was used to calculate the fractional inhibitory concentration index according to the minimum inhibitory concentration value for chlorhexidine combined with antibiotics.
Results: The combination of chlorhexidine with minocycline, doxycycline, meropenem, or ciprofloxacin showed synergistic responses in all clinical isolates, and more than 50% of isolates showed FICI ≤ 0.5. However, chlorhexidine together with imipenem or levofloxacin showed indifferent responses in 10% and 3.33% clinical isolates, respectively. In all tests, combinations of chlorhexidine with each of the above six antibiotics showed synergistic and additive effects, and inhibited the clinical isolates.
Conclusions: We concluded that, chlorhexidine combined with antibiotics could be used to control the risk of infection with A. baumannii.