Polymyxin B

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Polymyxin B is an antibacterial agent derived from the bacterium Bacillus polymyxa.

This drug is commonly used as an adjunctive topical antimicrobial[1], and has shown effectiveness in treating Pseudomonas aeruginosa[2], methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius[3].

This drug is commonly used in canine medicine for treatment of:

Inherent drug resistance has been reported in β-hemolytic Streptococcus spp[8] and proteobacteria such as Brucella spp[9].

Side-effects with this drug are rare, but pemphigus vulgaris has been reported from topical use of this drug in dogs[10].


  1. Mateus A et al (2011) Antimicrobial usage in dogs and cats in first opinion veterinary practices in the UK. J Small Anim Pract 52(10):515-521
  2. Hariharan H et al (2006) Update on antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacterial isolates from canine and feline otitis externa. Can Vet J 47(3):253-255
  3. Boyen F et al (2012) In vitro antimicrobial activity of miconazole and polymyxin B against canine meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates. Vet Dermatol 23(4):381-385
  4. Bugden D et al (2013) Identification and antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial isolates from dogs with otitis externa in Australia. Aust Vet J 91(1-2):43-46
  5. Chandler HL et al (2010) In vivo effects of adjunctive tetracycline treatment on refractory corneal ulcers in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 237(4):378-386
  6. Sandmeyer LS et al (2008) What are your clinical diagnosis, differential diagnoses, therapeutic plan, and prognosis? Diffuse episcleritis of the right eye. Can Vet J 49(1):89-90
  7. Cullen CL (2004) Cullen frontal sinus valved glaucoma shunt: preliminary findings in dogs with primary glaucoma. Vet Ophthalmol 7(5):311-318
  8. Tolar EL et al (2006) Evaluation of clinical characteristics and bacterial isolates in dogs with bacterial keratitis: 97 cases (1993-2003). J Am Vet Med Assoc 228(1):80-85
  9. Jensen AE & Halling SM (2010) Effect of polymyxin B and environmental conditions on isolation of Brucella species and the vaccine strain RB51. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 33(2):121-131
  10. Rybnícek J & Hill PB (2007) Suspected polymyxin B-induced pemphigus vulgaris in a dog. Vet Dermatol 18(3):165-170