Opportunities for topical antimicrobial therapy: permeation of canine skin by fusidic acid

Sian Marie Frosini, Ross Bond, Annette Loeffler, Joanne Larner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Staphylococcal infection of the canine epidermis and hair follicle is amongst the commonest reasons for antimicrobial prescribing in small animal veterinary practice. Topical therapy with fusidic acid (FA) is an attractive alternative to systemic therapy based on low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs, commonly <0.03 mg/l) documented in canine pathogenic staphylococci, including strains of MRSA and MRSP (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and S. pseudintermedius). However, permeation of canine skin by FA has not been evaluated in detail. This study aimed to define the degree and extent of FA permeation in canine skin in vitro from two sites with different hair follicle density following application of a licensed ophthalmic formulation that shares the same vehicle as an FA-betamethasone combination product approved for dermal application in dogs. Topical FA application was modelled using skin held in Franz-type diffusion cells. Concentrations of FA in surface swabs, receptor fluid, and transverse skin sections of defined anatomical depth were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography and ultraviolet (HPLC-UV) analysis. RESULTS: The majority of FA was recovered by surface swabs after 24 h, as expected (mean ± SEM: 76.0 ± 17.0%). FA was detected within 424/470 (90%) groups of serial sections of transversely cryotomed skin containing follicular infundibula, but never in 48/48 (100%) groups of sections containing only deeper follicular structures, nor in receptor fluid, suggesting that FA does not permeate beyond the infundibulum. The FA concentration (mean ± SEM) in the most superficial 240 μm of skin was 2000 ± 815 μg/g. CONCLUSIONS: Topically applied FA can greatly exceed MICs for canine pathogenic staphylococci at the most common sites of infection. Topical FA therapy should now be evaluated using available formulations in vivo as an alternative to systemic therapy for canine superficial bacterial folliculitis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Opportunities for topical antimicrobial therapy: permeation of canine skin by fusidic acid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this