JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Spectrum of bactericidal action of amylmetacresol/2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol lozenges against oropharyngeal organisms implicated in pharyngitis.

PURPOSE: Pharyngitis is commonly caused by a self-limiting upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and symptoms typically include sore throat. Antibiotics are often inappropriately used for the treatment of pharyngitis, which can contribute to antimicrobial resistance, therefore non-antibiotic treatments which have broad antiseptic effects may be more appropriate. Amylmetacresol (AMC) and 2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol (DCBA) are present in some antiseptic lozenges and have established benefits in providing symptomatic relief and some in vitro antiviral action.

METHODS: Seven bacterial species associated with pharyngitis, namely Streptococcus pyogenes, Fusobacterium necrophorum, Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis, Moraxella catarrhalis, Haemophilus influenza , Arcanobacterium haemolyticum and Staphylococcus aureus , were exposed to an AMC/DCBA lozenge dissolved in artificial saliva. In vitro bactericidal activity was measured as a log reduction in colony-forming units (CFUs).

RESULTS: Bactericidal activity was recorded against all organisms after 1 minute. Greater than 3 log10 reductions in CFUs were observed at 1 minute for S. pyogenes (log10 reduction CFU/mL ± SD, 5.7±0.1), H. influenza (6.1±0.1), A. haemolyticum (6.5±0.0) and F. necrophorum (6.5±0.0), at 5 minutes for S. dysgalactiae (6.3±0.0) and M. catarrhalis (5.0±0.9) and at 10 minutes for S. aureus (3.5±0.1).

CONCLUSION: An AMC/DCBA lozenge demonstrated a greater than 99.9% reduction in CFUs against all tested species within 10 minutes, which is consistent with the time a lozenge remains in the mouth. Patients with uncomplicated bacterial pharyngitis may benefit from the antibacterial action of antiseptic AMC/DCBA lozenges. Furthermore, AMC/DCBA lozenges may be more relevant and appropriate than antibiotics for pharyngitis associated with a self-limiting viral URTI.

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