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Volume 44, Number 6, December 2011

Ibuprofen worsens Streptococcus pyogenes soft tissue infections in mice

Tzu-Chieh Weng, Chi-Chung Chen, Han-Siong Toh, Hung-Jen Tang

Received: August 1, 2010    Revised: August 20, 2010    Accepted: August 31, 2010   


Corresponding author:
  • Department of Infectious Diseases, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  • Corresponding Author InformationCorresponding author. Department of Infectious Diseases, Chi Mei Medical Center, No. 901, Chung-Hwa Road, Yung-Kang City, Tainan 710, Taiwan


Background and purpose: 

Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a common cause of soft tissue infection. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been reported to worsen GAS soft tissue infections.



A mouse model of GAS soft tissue infection was developed. The extent of cutaneous lesions, tissue damage, release of inflammatory cytokines, and survival rates were compared between mice with and without ibuprofen administration after GAS soft tissue infection.



All twelve mice without ibuprofen administration survived for at least 10 days. In contrast, mortality rate of 14 mice with ibuprofen therapy was 72.5%. Ibuprofen-treated mice exhibited more evident macrophage infiltration and tissue damage in the GAS-infected soft tissues. In GAS-infected mice, tissue levels of interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha were significantly higher in ibuprofen-treated mice than those in the control group.



The results supported the concept that ibuprofen use in GAS soft tissue infections might induce the development of severe necrotizing infections and increase mortality rate.


Key words:

 Animal model, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Soft tissue infection, Streptococcal infection