Release of antibiotics from polymethylmethacrylate cement

E Bertazzoni Minelli, C Caveiari, A Benini
Journal of Chemotherapy 2002, 14 (5): 492-500
The increase in resistance rates to antibiotics of bacteria isolated from infected hip joints, particularly staphylococci, prompted us to investigate the usefulness of antibiotic combinations such as gentamicin plus vancomycin. Cylinder test specimens of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement (Cemex, Tecres) containing gentamicin alone, vancomycin alone and both drugs in combination, were studied. The antibiotic concentrations were determined using a microbiological method and fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA). The release of gentamicin alone, vancomycin alone and in combination from PMMA cement was prompt. The combination revealed synergistic antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis. FPIA showed that gentamicin and vancomycin delivery rates from PMMA cement were different. Gentamicin alone and in combination with vancomycin presented similar release rates from PMMA cement (1.50%). Vancomycin release from PMMA cylinders impregnated with the combination was lower (0.51%) than that from cylinders with vancomycin alone (1.16%). Vancomycin showed a 34.1% loss of microbiological activity at 37 degrees C after 10 days of incubation; the reduction corresponded to 15.0% when measured by FPIA. Results obtained with test specimens are indicative for the preparation of antibiotic-impregnated cements for different human prostheses.

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