Inhibition of bacterial biofilm formation and swarming motility by a small synthetic cationic peptide.
ABSTRACT: Biofilms cause up to 80% of infections and are difficult to treat due to their substantial multidrug resistance compared to their planktonic counterparts. Based on the observation that human peptide LL-37 is able to block biofilm formation at concentrations below its MIC, we screened for small peptides with antibiofilm activity and identified novel synthetic cationic peptide 1037 of only 9 amino acids in length. Peptide 1037 had very weak antimicrobial activity, but at 1/30th the MIC the peptide was able to effectively prevent biofilm formation (>50% reduction in cell biomass) by the Gram-negative pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cenocepacia and Gram-positive Listeria monocytogenes. Using a flow cell system and a widefield fluorescence microscope, 1037 was shown to significantly reduce biofilm formation and lead to cell death in biofilms. Microarray and follow-up studies showed that, in P. aeruginosa, 1037 directly inhibited biofilms by reducing swimming and swarming motilities, stimulating twitching motility, and suppressing the expression of a variety of genes involved in biofilm formation (e.g., PA2204). Comparison of microarray data from cells treated with peptides LL-37 and 1037 enabled the identification of 11 common P. aeruginosa genes that have a role in biofilm formation and are proposed to represent functional targets of these peptides. Peptide 1037 shows promise as a potential therapeutic agent against chronic, recurrent biofilm infections caused by a variety of bacteria.
Project description:The ability to form biofilms is a critical factor in chronic infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and has made this bacterium a model organism with respect to biofilm formation. This study describes a new, previously unrecognized role for the human cationic host defense peptide LL-37. In addition to its key role in modulating the innate immune response and weak antimicrobial activity, LL-37 potently inhibited the formation of bacterial biofilms in vitro. This occurred at the very low and physiologically meaningful concentration of 0.5 microg/ml, far below that required to kill or inhibit growth (MIC = 64 microg/ml). LL-37 also affected existing, pregrown P. aeruginosa biofilms. Similar results were obtained using the bovine neutrophil peptide indolicidin, but no inhibitory effect on biofilm formation was detected using subinhibitory concentrations of the mouse peptide CRAMP, which shares 67% identity with LL-37, polymyxin B, or the bovine bactenecin homolog Bac2A. Using microarrays and follow-up studies, we were able to demonstrate that LL-37 affected biofilm formation by decreasing the attachment of bacterial cells, stimulating twitching motility, and influencing two major quorum sensing systems (Las and Rhl), leading to the downregulation of genes essential for biofilm development.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is involved in a variety of difficult-to-treat infections frequently due to biofilm formation. To identify useful antibiofilm strategies, this article evaluated efficacy of two newly engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides (17BIPHE2 and DASamP2), traditional antibiotics, and their combinations against biofilms at different stages. 17BIPHE2 is designed based on the 3D structure of human cathelicidin LL-37 and DASamP2 is derived from database screening. While both peptides show effects on bacterial adhesion, biofilm formation, and preformed biofilms, select antibiotics only inhibit biofilm formation, probably due to direct bacterial killing. In addition, the time dependence of biofilm formation and treatment in a static in vitro biofilm model was also studied. The initial bacterial inoculum determines the peptide concentration needed to inhibit biofilm growth. When the bacterial growth time is less than 8 h, the biomass in the wells can be dispersed by either antibiotics alone or peptides alone. However, nearly complete biofilm disruption can be achieved when both the peptide and antibiotics are applied. Our results emphasize the importance of antibiofilm peptides, early treatment using monotherapy, and the combination therapy for already formed biofilms of P. aeruginosa.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus can live together in the form of biofilms to avoid elimination by the host. Thus, a useful strategy to counteract bacterial biofilms is to re-engineer human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 so that it can be used as a remedy for preventing and removing biofilms. This study reports antibiofilm effects of four human cathelicidin LL-37 peptides against community-associated and hospital isolated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. Although the intact molecule LL-37 inhibited biofilm formation at low concentrations, it did not inhibit bacterial attachment nor disrupt preformed biofilms. However, two 17-residue peptides, GF-17 and 17BIPHE2, inhibited bacterial attachment, biofilm growth, and disrupted established biofilms. An inactive peptide RI-10 was used as a negative control. Our results obtained using the S. aureus mutants in a static biofilm model are consistent with the literature obtained in a flow cell biofilm model. Because 17BIPHE2 is the most effective biofilm disruptor with desired stability to proteases, it is a promising lead for developing new anti-MRSA biofilm agents.
Project description:Infections on implanted medical devices are a challenging problem, especially when bacteria form difficult-to-treat biofilms. Antimicrobial peptides are considered to be a solution due to their potency against antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Previously, the authors' laboratory demonstrated the prevention of staphylococcal biofilm formation in an animal catheter model by injecting merecidin (formerly known as 17BIPHE2), a peptide engineered based on the only human cathelicidin. This study documents an alternative solution via covalent immobilization of FK-16, amino acid sequence FKRIVQRIKDFLRNLV-amide, which corresponds to the major antimicrobial region (residues 17-32) of LL-37. FK-16 is superior to the longer peptide LL-37 in terms of synthesis cost and the shorter peptide KR-12 in terms of activity spectrum. Indeed, the FK16-coated titanium surface showed a broad-spectrum activity against the ESKAPE pathogens, including Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species. It also demonstrated anti-adhesion and biofilm inhibition capabilities against both S. aureus and E. coli.
Project description:Burkholderia thailandensis is a Gram-negative soil bacterium used as a model organism for B. pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis and an organism classified category B priority pathogen and a Tier 1 select agent for its potential use as a biological weapon. Burkholderia species are reportedly "highly resistant" to antimicrobial agents, including cyclic peptide antibiotics, due to multiple resistance systems, a hypothesis we decided to test using antimicrobial (host defense) peptides. In this study, a number of cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) were tested in vitro against B. thailandensis for both antimicrobial activity and inhibition of biofilm formation. Here, we report that the Chinese cobra (Naja atra) cathelicidin NA-CATH was significantly antimicrobial against B. thailandensis. Additional cathelicidins, including the human cathelicidin LL-37, a sheep cathelicidin SMAP-29, and some smaller ATRA peptide derivatives of NA-CATH were also effective. The D-enantiomer of one small peptide (ATRA-1A) was found to be antimicrobial as well, with EC50 in the range of the L-enantiomer. Our results also demonstrate that human alpha-defensins (HNP-1 & -2) and a short beta-defensin-derived peptide (Peptide 4 of hBD-3) were not bactericidal against B. thailandensis. We also found that the cathelicidin peptides, including LL-37, NA-CATH, and SMAP-29, possessed significant ability to prevent biofilm formation of B. thailandensis. Additionally, we show that LL-37 and its D-enantiomer D-LL-37 can disperse pre-formed biofilms. These results demonstrate that although B. thailandensis is highly resistant to many antibiotics, cyclic peptide antibiotics such as polymyxin B, and defensing peptides, some antimicrobial peptides including the elapid snake cathelicidin NA-CATH exert significant antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity towards B. thailandensis.
Project description:With the rapid spread of antimicrobial resistance in Gram-negative pathogens, biofilm-associated infections are increasingly harder to treat and combination therapy with colistin has become one of the most efficient therapeutic strategies. Our study aimed to evaluate the potential for the synergy of colistin combined with CHIR-090, a potent LpxC inhibitor, against in vitro and in vivoPseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Four P. aeruginosa isolates with various colistin susceptibilities were chosen for evaluation. The tested isolates of P. aeruginosa exhibited MIC values ranging from 1 to 64 and 0.0625 to 0.5 ?g/ml for colistin and CHIR-090, respectively. Against 24-h static biofilms, minimum biofilm eradication concentration values ranged from 256 to 512 and 8 to >128 ?g/ml for colistin and CHIR-090, respectively. Interestingly, subinhibitory concentrations of CHIR-090 contributed to the eradication of subpopulations of P. aeruginosa with the highest colistin MIC values. The combination of colistin and CHIR-090 at subinhibitory concentrations demonstrated synergistic activity both in vivo and in vitro and prevented the formation of colistin-tolerant subpopulations in in vitro biofilms. In summary, our study highlights the in vivo and in vitro synergistic activity of the colistin and CHIR-090 combination against both colistin-susceptible and -nonsusceptible P. aeruginosa biofilms. Further studies are warranted to investigate the clinical relevance of the combination of these two antimicrobials and outline the underlying mechanism for their synergistic action.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that can form biofilms, which confer resistance to immune clearance and antibacterial treatment. Therefore, effective strategies to prevent biofilm formation are warranted. Here, 103 P. aeruginosa clinical isolates were quantitatively screened for biofilm formation ability via the tissue culture plate method. The effects of lysozyme (hydrolytic enzyme) and proteinase K (protease) on biofilm formation were evaluated at different concentrations. Lysozyme (30??g/mL), but not proteinase K, significantly inhibited biofilm formation (19% inhibition). Treatment of 24-hour-old biofilms of P. aeruginosa isolates with 50 times the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of ceftazidime and cefepime significantly decreased the biofilm mass by 32.8% and 44%, respectively. Moreover, the exposure of 24-hour-old biofilms of P. aeruginosa isolates to lysozyme (30??g/mL) and 50 times MICs of ceftazidime or cefepime resulted in a significant reduction in biofilm mass as compared with the exposure to lysozyme or either antibacterial agent alone. The best antibiofilm effect (49.3%) was observed with the combination of lysozyme (30??g/mL) and 50 times MIC of cefepime. The promising antibiofilm activity observed after treatment with 50 times MIC of ceftazidime or cefepime alone or in combination with lysozyme (30??g/mL) is indicative of a novel strategy to eradicate pseudomonal biofilms in intravascular devices and contact lenses.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading cause of nosocomial and serious life-threatening infections and infections caused by this bacterium continue to pose a major medical challenge worldwide. The ability of P. aeruginosa to produce multiple virulence factors and in particular to form biofilms makes this bacterium resistant to all known antibiotics. As a consequence, standard antibiotic therapy are increasingly become ineffective to clear such infections associated with biofilms. In search for novel effective agents to combat P. aeruginosa biofilm infections, a series of the BmKn?2 scorpion venom peptide and its truncated derivatives were synthesized and their antibiofilm activities assessed. Among the peptides tested, BmKn?22 peptide, which was a modified peptide of the parental BmKn?2 scorpion venom peptide, clearly demonstrated the most potential inhibitory activity against P. aeruginosa biofilms without affecting the bacterial growth. This peptide was not only capable of inhibiting the formation of P. aeruginosa biofilms, but also disrupting the established biofilms of P. aeruginosa. Additionally, BmKn?22 peptide was able to inhibit the production of key virulence factor pyocyanin of P. aeruginosa. Our results also showed that BmKn?22 peptide significantly reduced lasI and rhlR expression, and suggested that BmKn?22 peptide-mediated inhibition of P. aeruginosa biofilms and virulence factors was achieved through the components of quorum-sensing systems. Combination of BmKn?22 peptide with azithromycin resulted in a remarkable reduction P. aeruginosa biofilms. Since this peptide exhibited low toxicity to mammalian cells, all our results therefore indicate that the BmKn?22 peptide is a promising antibiofilm agent against P. aeruginosa and warrant further development of this peptide as a novel therapeutic for treatment of P. aeruginosa?associated biofilm infections.
Project description:Diabetic patients often have ulcers on their lower-limbs that are infected by multiple biofilm-forming genera of bacteria, and the elimination of the biofilm has proven highly successful in resolving such wounds in patients. To that end, antimicrobial peptides have shown potential as a new anti-biofilm approach. The single human cathelicidin peptide LL-37 has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity against multiple Gram-positive and Gram-negative human pathogens, and have wound-healing effects on the host. The combination of the anti-biofilm effect and wound-healing properties of LL-37 may make it highly effective in resolving polymicrobially infected wounds when topically applied. Such a peptide or its derivatives could be a platform from which to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat biofilm-mediated infections of wounds. This review summarizes known mechanisms that regulate the endogenous levels of LL-37 and discusses the anti-biofilm, antibacterial, and immunological effects of deficient vs. excessive concentrations of LL-37 within the wound environment. Here, we review recent advances in understanding the therapeutic potential of this peptide and other clinically advanced peptides as a potential topical treatment for polymicrobial infected wounds.
Project description:Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by an impaired epidermal barrier, dysregulation of innate and adaptive immunity, and a high susceptibility to bacterial colonization and infection. In the present study, bacterial biofilm was visualized by electron microscopy at the surface of AD skin. Correspondingly, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) isolates from lesional skin of patients with AD, produced a substantial amount of biofilm in vitro. S. aureus biofilms showed less susceptibility to killing by the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 when compared with results obtained using planktonic cells. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that LL-37 binds to the S. aureus biofilms. Immuno-gold staining of S. aureus biofilm of AD skin detected the S. aureus derived protease staphopain adjacent to the bacteria. In vitro, staphopain B degraded LL-37 into shorter peptide fragments. Further, LL-37 significantly inhibited S. aureus biofilm formation, but no such effects were observed for the degradation products. The data presented here provide novel information on staphopains present in S. aureus biofilms in vivo, and illustrate the complex interplay between biofilm and LL-37 in skin of AD patients, possibly leading to a disturbed host defense, which facilitates bacterial persistence.