Biofilm formation is stimulated by beta-lactam antibiotics.
Crystal violet assays of 1-day NTHi biofilms formed in the presence of amoxicillin or amoxicillin. Strains 2019, 9274 and PittEE reacted to inhibitory concentrations of antibiotic (grey vertical bars, Biomass OD600) by producing more crystal violet stainable biofilm (line graph). This stimulatory effect was different for each bacterial strain. PittGG did not react with amoxicillin and produced an ambiguous reaction to ampicillin. PittAA and PittII were not affected by amoxicillin or ampicillin in the concentration ranges studied. Cefuroxime (0–950 ng/mL range) showed a biofilm-stimulatory effect on all the NTHi strains under study. Each strain exhibited biofilm stimulation in different concentrations of antibiotic. Strain 2019 was maximally stimulated at 100 ng/mL cefuroxime, PittGG and PittII at 220 ng/mL, 9274, PittAA at 300 ng/mL and PittEE at 525 ng/mL.