Concurrent Local Delivery of Diflunisal Limits Bone Destruction but Fails To Improve Systemic Vancomycin Efficacy during Staphylococcus aureus Osteomyelitis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis is a debilitating infection of bone. Treatment of osteomyelitis is impaired by the propensity of invading bacteria to induce pathological bone remodeling that may limit antibiotic penetration to the infectious focus. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal was previously identified as an osteoprotective adjunctive therapy for osteomyelitis, based on the ability of this compound to inhibit S. aureus quorum sensing and subsequent quorum-dependent toxin production. When delivered locally during experimental osteomyelitis, diflunisal significantly limits bone destruction without affecting bacterial burdens. However, because diflunisal's "quorum-quenching" activity could theoretically increase antibiotic recalcitrance, it is critically important to evaluate this adjunctive therapy in the context of standard-of-care antibiotics. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of vancomycin to treat osteomyelitis during local diflunisal treatment. We first determined that systemic vancomycin effectively reduces bacterial burdens in a murine model of osteomyelitis and identified a dosing regimen that decreases bacterial burdens without eradicating infection. Using this dosing scheme, we found that vancomycin activity is unaffected by the presence of diflunisal in vitro and in vivo Similarly, locally delivered diflunisal still potently inhibits osteoblast cytotoxicity in vitro and bone destruction in vivo in the presence of subtherapeutic vancomycin. However, we also found that the resorbable polyester urethane (PUR) foams used to deliver diflunisal serve as a nidus for infection. Taken together, these data demonstrate that diflunisal does not significantly impact standard-of-care antibiotic therapy for S. aureus osteomyelitis, but they also highlight potential pitfalls encountered with local drug delivery.Copyright © 2020 American Society for Microbiology.

publication date

  • December 2020