Repurposing niclosamide as a versatile antimicrobial surface coating against device-associated, hospital-acquired bacterial infections

Tinotenda Gwisai, Nisha Rosita Hollingsworth, Sarah Cowles, Nagendran Tharmalingam, Eleftherios Mylonakis, Beth Burgwyn Fuchs, Anita Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Device-associated and hospital-acquired infections remain amongst the greatest challenges in regenerative medicine. Furthermore, the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance and lack of new classes of antibiotics has made the treatment of these bacterial infections increasingly difficult. The repurposing of Food and Drug Administration approved drugs for antimicrobial therapies is a powerful means of reducing the time and cost associated with drug discovery and development. In this work, niclosamide, a commercially available anthelmintic drug with recently identified antimicrobial properties, was found to prevent the formation of, and combat existing biofilms of, several relevant Gram-positive bacteria, namely strains of Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA), and Staphylococcus epidermidis, all common causes of hospital-acquired and device-associated infections. This anti-biofilm activity was demonstrated at niclosamide concentrations as low as 0.01 μg ml-1. We then assessed niclosamide activity as an antibacterial coating, which could potentially be applied to medical device surfaces. We developed solvent cast niclosamide coatings on a variety of surfaces common amongst medical devices including glass, titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum. Niclosamide-coated surfaces exhibited potent in vitro activity against S. aureus, MRSA, and S. epidermidis. At niclosamide surface concentrations as low as 1.6 × 10-2 μg mm-2, the coatings prevented attachment of these bacteria. The coatings also cleared bacteria inoculated suspensions at niclosamide surface concentrations of 3.1 × 10-2 μg mm-2. Hemolysis was not observed at any of the antimicrobial coating concentrations tested. We report a facile, effective means of coating devices with niclosamide to both clear and prevent biofilm formation of common bacteria encountered in hospital-acquired and device-associated infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045010
JournalBiomedical Materials (Bristol)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 12 2017


  • Antimicrobial coatings
  • biofilms
  • device-associated infections
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • hospital-acquired infections
  • niclosamide
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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