Exploitation of the bilosome platform technology to formulate antibiotics and enhance efficacy of melioidosis treatments

Riccardo V. D'Elia*, Stuart Woods, Wendy Butcher, Jonathan McGahon, Swapnil Khadke, Yvonne Perrie, E. Diane Williamson, Craig Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium which is recalcitrant to antibiotic therapy. There also is currently no licensed vaccine for this potentially fatal pathogen, further highlighting the requirement for better therapeutics to treat the disease melioidosis. Here we use an oral delivery platform, the bilosome to entrap already- licensed antibiotics. Bilosome-entrapped antibiotics were used to treat mice infected via the aerosol route with B. pseudomallei. When treatment was started by the oral route at 6 h post-infection and continued for 7 days, bilosome levofloxacin and bilosome doxycycline formulations were significantly more efficacious than free antibiotics in terms of survival rates. Additionally, bilosome formulated levofloxacin protected mice from antibiotic and infection induced weight loss following B. pseudomallei infection. The microbiomes of mice treated with levofloxacin were depleted of all phyla with the exception of Firmicutes, but doxycycline treatment had minimal effect on the microbiome. Encapsulation of either drug in bilosomes had no deleterious or clear advantageous effect on microbiome. This indicates that the ability of bilosomes to ameliorate antibiotic induced weight loss is not due to microbiome effects. The bilosome platform not only has potential to reduce adverse effects of orally delivered antimicrobials, but has potential for other therapeutics which may cause detrimental side-effects or require enhanced delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Early online date4 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • encapsulation
  • vesicles
  • bilosomes
  • oral delivery
  • antibiotics
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei


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