Combined treatment of 6-gingerol analog and tobramycin for inhibiting pseudomonas aeruginosa infections

So Young Ham, Han Shin Kim, Min Jee Jo, Jeong Hoon Lee, Youngjoo Byun, Gang Jee Ko, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous human pathogen that causes severe infections. Although antibiotics, such as tobramycin, are currently used for infection therapy, their antibacterial activity has resulted in the emergence of multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The 6-gingerol analog, a structural derivative of the main component of ginger, is a quorum sensing (QS) inhibitor. However, it has a lower biofilm inhibitory activity than antibiotics and the possibility to cause toxicity in humans. Therefore, novel and more effective approaches for decreasing dosing concentration and increasing biofilm inhibitory activity are required to alleviate P. aeruginosa infections. In this study, a 6-gingerol analog was combined with tobramycin to treat P. aeruginosa infections. The combined treatment of 6- gingerol analog and tobramycin showed strong inhibitory activities on biofilm formation and the production of QS-related virulence factors of P. aeruginosa compared to single treatments. Furthermore, the combined treatment alleviated the infectivity of P. aeruginosa in an insect model using Tenebrio molitor larvae without inducing any cytotoxic effects in human lung epithelial cells. The 6-gingerol analog showed these inhibitory activities at much lower concentrations when used in combination with tobramycin. Adjuvant effects were observed through increased QS-disrupting processes rather than through antibacterial action. In particular, improved RhlR inactivation by this combination is a possible target for therapeutic development in LasR-independent chronic infections. Therefore, the combined treatment of 6-gingerol analog and tobramycin may be considered an effective method for treating P. aeruginosa infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00192-21
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-gingerol analog
  • Biofilm
  • Infection
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Tobramycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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