Hyperbaric hyperoxia suppresses growth of Staphyloccus aureus, including methicillin-resistant strains

Isao Tsuneyoshi, Walter A. Boyle, Yuichi Kanmura, Toushiro Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Purpose. We investigated the effects of increased oxygen tension on the in vitro growth of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Methods. The effects of oxygen tension [normobaric normoxia (21% O2 at 1 atm), normobaric hyperoxia (100% O2 at 1 atm), hyperbaric normoxia (21% O2 at 2 atm), and hyperbaric hyperoxia (100% O2 at 2 atm) on the in vitro growth of MRSA, MSSA, and E. coli were investigated by population analysis. Results. Compared with normobaric normoxia, a 90-min exposure to hyperbaric hyperoxia significantly inhibited growth of both MRSA (by 25.0 ± 3.0%, mean ± SEM; P < 0.01) and MSSA (by 24.0 ± 3.3%; P < 0.01). Normobaric hyperoxia and hyperbaric normoxia were without effect. In contrast, the growth of E. coli was not affected by any of the above treatments. Conclusion. Our results indicate that the bacterium S. aureus, including resistant strains, is susceptible to oxygen stress. The observation that relatively brief (90-min) treatment with hyperbaric hyperoxia is sufficient to produce significant growth inhibition suggests that hyperbaric hyperoxia may be useful in the treatment of serious staphylococcal infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Anesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 23 2001


  • Escherichia coli
  • Hyperbaric oxygen
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus

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