The contribution of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to antimicrobial lethality was examined by treating Escherichia coli with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), an antioxidant solvent frequently used in antimicrobial studies. DMSO inhibited killing by ampicillin, kanamycin, and two quinolones and had little effect on MICs. DMSO-mediated protection correlated with decreased ROS accumulation and provided evidence for ROS-mediated programmed cell death. These data support the contribution of ROS to antimicrobial lethality and suggest caution when using DMSO-dissolved antimicrobials for short-time killing assays.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases