Targeted disruption of the extracellular polymeric network of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by alginate oligosaccharides.
ABSTRACT: Acquisition of a mucoid phenotype by Pseudomonas sp. in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, with subsequent over-production of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), plays an important role in mediating the persistence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) infections. The ability of a low molecular weight (Mn = 3200 g mol-1) alginate oligomer (OligoG CF-5/20) to modify biofilm structure of mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa (NH57388A) was studied in vitro using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) with Texas Red (TxRd®)-labelled OligoG and EPS histochemical staining. Structural changes in treated biofilms were quantified using COMSTAT image-analysis software of CLSM z-stack images, and nanoparticle diffusion. Interactions between the oligomers, Ca2+ and DNA were studied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Imaging demonstrated that OligoG treatment (≥0.5%) inhibited biofilm formation, revealing a significant reduction in both biomass and biofilm height (P < 0.05). TxRd®-labelled oligomers readily diffused into established (24 h) biofilms. OligoG treatment (≥2%) induced alterations in the EPS of established biofilms; significantly reducing the structural quantities of EPS polysaccharides, and extracellular (e)DNA (P < 0.05) with a corresponding increase in nanoparticle diffusion (P < 0.05) and antibiotic efficacy against established biofilms. ITC demonstrated an absence of rapid complex formation between DNA and OligoG and confirmed the interactions of OligoG with Ca2+ evident in FTIR and MD modelling. The ability of OligoG to diffuse into biofilms, potentiate antibiotic activity, disrupt DNA-Ca2+-DNA bridges and biofilm EPS matrix highlights its potential for the treatment of biofilm-related infections.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bacterial biofilms are surface-adherent microbial communities in which individual cells are surrounded by a self-produced extracellular matrix of polysaccharides, extracellular DNA (eDNA) and proteins. Interactions among matrix components within biofilms are responsible for creating an adaptable structure during biofilm development. However, it is unclear how the interactions among matrix components contribute to the construction of the three-dimensional (3D) biofilm architecture. RESULTS:DNase I treatment significantly inhibited Bacillus subtilis biofilm formation in the early phases of biofilm development. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and image analysis revealed that eDNA was cooperative with exopolysaccharide (EPS) in the early stages of B. subtilis biofilm development, while EPS played a major structural role in the later stages. In addition, deletion of the EPS production gene epsG in B. subtilis SBE1 resulted in loss of the interaction between EPS and eDNA and reduced the biofilm biomass in pellicles at the air-liquid interface. The physical interaction between these two essential biofilm matrix components was confirmed by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). CONCLUSIONS:Biofilm 3D structures become interconnected through surrounding eDNA and EPS. eDNA interacts with EPS in the early phases of biofilm development, while EPS mainly participates in the maturation of biofilms. The findings of this study provide a better understanding of the role of the interaction between eDNA and EPS in shaping the biofilm 3D matrix structure and biofilm formation.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa plays a major role in many chronic infections. Its ability to readily form biofilms contributes to its success as an opportunistic pathogen and its resistance/tolerance to antimicrobial/antibiotic therapy. A low-molecular-weight alginate oligomer (OligoG CF-5/20) derived from marine algae has previously been shown to impair motility in P. aeruginosa biofilms and disrupt pseudomonal biofilm assembly. As these bacterial phenotypes are regulated by quorum sensing (QS), we hypothesized that OligoG CF-5/20 may induce alterations in QS signaling in P. aeruginosa QS regulation was studied by using Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 biosensor assays that showed a significant reduction in acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) production following OligoG CF-5/20 treatment (?2%; P < 0.05). This effect was confirmed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of C4-AHL and 3-oxo-C12-AHL production (?2%; P < 0.05). Moreover, quantitative PCR showed that reduced expression of both the las and rhl systems was induced following 24 h of treatment with OligoG CF-5/20 (?0.2%; P < 0.05). Circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that these alterations were not due to steric interaction between the AHL and OligoG CF-5/20. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and COMSTAT image analysis demonstrated that OligoG CF-5/20-treated biofilms had a dose-dependent decrease in biomass that was associated with inhibition of extracellular DNA synthesis (?0.5%; P < 0.05). These changes correlated with alterations in the extracellular production of the pseudomonal virulence factors pyocyanin, rhamnolipids, elastase, and total protease (P < 0.05). The ability of OligoG CF-5/20 to modify QS signaling in P. aeruginosa PAO1 may influence critical downstream functions such as virulence factor production and biofilm formation.
Project description:The uncontrolled, often inappropriate use of antibiotics has resulted in the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, with major cost implications for both United States and European health care systems. We describe the utilization of a low-molecular-weight oligosaccharide nanomedicine (OligoG), based on the biopolymer alginate, which is able to perturb multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria by modulating biofilm formation and persistence and reducing resistance to antibiotic treatment, as evident using conventional and robotic MIC screening and microscopic analyses of biofilm structure. OligoG increased (up to 512-fold) the efficacy of conventional antibiotics against important MDR pathogens, including Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and Burkholderia spp., appearing to be effective with several classes of antibiotic (i.e., macrolides, ?-lactams, and tetracyclines). Using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), increasing concentrations (2%, 6%, and 10%) of alginate oligomer were shown to have a direct effect on the quality of the biofilms produced and on the health of the cells within that biofilm. Biofilm growth was visibly weakened in the presence of 10% OligoG, as seen by decreased biomass and increased intercellular spaces, with the bacterial cells themselves becoming distorted and uneven due to apparently damaged cell membranes. This report demonstrates the feasibility of reducing the tolerance of wound biofilms to antibiotics with the use of specific alginate preparations.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa evolves during chronic pulmonary infections of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, forming pathoadapted variants that are persistent. Mucoid and rugose small-colony variants (RSCVs) are typically isolated from sputum of CF patients. These variants overproduce exopolysaccharides in the biofilm extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Currently, changes to the biophysical properties of RSCV and mucoid biofilms due to variations in EPS are not well understood. This knowledge may reveal how lung infections resist host clearance mechanisms. Here, we used mechanical indentation and shear rheometry to analyse the viscoelasticity of RSCV and mucoid colony-biofilms compared to their isogenic parent at 2-, 4-, and 6-d. While the viscoelasticity of parental colony-biofilms underwent fluctuating temporal changes, in contrast, RSCV and mucoid colony-biofilms showed a gradual progression to more elastic-solid behaviour. Theoretical indices of mucociliary and cough clearance predict that mature 6-d parental and RSCV biofilms may show reduced cough clearance from the lung, while early mucoid biofilms may show reduced clearance by both mechanisms. We propose that viscoelasticity be considered a virulence property of biofilms.
Project description:Within drinking water distribution systems (DWDS), microorganisms form multi-species biofilms on internal pipe surfaces. A matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) is produced by the attached community and provides structure and stability for the biofilm. If the EPS adhesive strength deteriorates or is overcome by external shear forces, biofilm is mobilised into the water potentially leading to degradation of water quality. However, little is known about the EPS within DWDS biofilms or how this is influenced by community composition or environmental parameters, because of the complications in obtaining biofilm samples and the difficulties in analysing EPS. Additionally, although biofilms may contain various microbial groups, research commonly focuses solely upon bacteria. This research applies an EPS analysis method based upon fluorescent confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) in combination with digital image analysis (DIA), to concurrently characterize cells and EPS (carbohydrates and proteins) within drinking water biofilms from a full-scale DWDS experimental pipe loop facility with representative hydraulic conditions. Application of the EPS analysis method, alongside DNA fingerprinting of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities, was demonstrated for biofilms sampled from different positions around the pipeline, after 28 days growth within the DWDS experimental facility. The volume of EPS was 4.9 times greater than that of the cells within biofilms, with carbohydrates present as the dominant component. Additionally, the greatest proportion of EPS was located above that of the cells. Fungi and archaea were established as important components of the biofilm community, although bacteria were more diverse. Moreover, biofilms from different positions were similar with respect to community structure and the quantity, composition and three-dimensional distribution of cells and EPS, indicating that active colonisation of the pipe wall is an important driver in material accumulation within the DWDS.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp), is a frequent cause of hospital and community-acquired infections and WHO had declared it as a "priority pathogen". Biofilm is a major virulence factor of Kp and yet the mechanism of strong biofilm formation in Kp is unclear. A key objective of the present study is to investigate the differences between strong and weak biofilms formed by clinical isolates of Kp on various catheters and in different media conditions and to identify constituents contributing to strong biofilm formation. Quantification of matrix components (extracellular DNA (eDNA), protein, exopolysaccharides (EPS), and bacterial cells), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM) and flow-cytometry analysis were performed to compare strong and weak biofilm matrix. Our results suggest increased biofilm formation on latex catheters compared to silicone and silicone-coated latex catheters. Higher amounts of eDNA, protein, EPS, and dead cells were observed in the strong biofilm of Kp. High adhesion capacity and cell death seem to play a major role in formation of strong Kp biofilms. The enhanced eDNA, EPS, and protein in the biofilm matrix appear as a consequence of increased cell death.
Project description:The viscoelasticity of a biofilm's EPS (extracellular-polymeric-substance) matrix conveys protection against mechanical challenges, but adaptive responses of biofilm inhabitants to produce EPS are not well known. Here, we compare the response of a biofilm of an EPS producing (ATCC 12600) and non-EPS producing (5298) Staphylococcus aureus strain to fluid shear and mechanical challenge. Confocal-Laser-Scanning-Microscopy confirmed absence of calcofluorwhite-stainable EPS in biofilms of S. aureus 5298. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy combined with tribometry indicated that the polysaccharide production per bacterium in the initial adhering layer was higher during growth at high shear than at low shear and this increased EPS production extended to entire biofilms, as indicated by tribometrically measured coefficients of friction (CoF). CoFs of biofilms grown under high fluid shear were higher than when grown under low shear, likely due to wash-off of polysaccharides. Measurement of a biofilm's CoF implies application of mechanical pressure that yielded an immediate increase in polysaccharide band area of S. aureus ATCC 12600 biofilms due to their compression that decreased after relieving pressure to the level observed prior to mechanical pressure. For biofilms grown under high shear, this coincided with a higher %whiteness in Optical-Coherence-Tomography-images indicative of water outflow, returning back into the biofilm during stress relaxation. Biofilms grown under low shear however, were stimulated during tribometry to produce EPS, also after stress relieve. Knowledge of factors that govern EPS production and water flow in biofilms will allow better control of biofilms under mechanical challenge and understanding of the barrier properties of biofilms toward antimicrobial penetration.IMPORTANCE Adaptive responses of biofilm inhabitants in nature to environmental challenges such as fluid shear and mechanical pressure, often involve EPS production with the aim of protecting biofilm inhabitants. EPS can assist biofilm bacteria to remain attached or impede antimicrobial penetration. The tribochemist is a recently introduced instrument, allowing to study initially adhering bacteria to a Germanium crystal using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, while simultaneously allowing measurement of the coefficient of friction of a biofilm, serving as an indicator of the EPS content of a biofilm. EPS production can be stimulated by both fluid shear during growth and mechanical pressure, while increased EPS production can continue after pressure relaxation of the biofilm. Since EPS is pivotal in the protection of biofilm inhabitants against mechanical and chemical challenges, knowledge the factors that make biofilm inhabitants decide to produce EPS as provided in this study, are important for the development of biofilm control measures.
Project description:Biofilm formation is a universal virulence strategy in which bacteria grow in dense microbial communities enmeshed within a polymeric extracellular matrix that protects them from antibiotic exposure and the immune system. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an archetypal biofilm-forming organism that utilizes a biofilm growth strategy to cause chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. The extracellular matrix of P. aeruginosa biofilms is comprised mainly of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and DNA. Both mucoid and nonmucoid isolates of P. aeruginosa produce the Pel and Psl EPS, each of which have important roles in antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and immune evasion. Given the central importance of the EPS for biofilms, they are attractive targets for novel anti-infective compounds. In this study, we used a high-throughput gene expression screen to identify compounds that repress expression of the pel genes. The pel repressors demonstrated antibiofilm activity against microplate and flow chamber biofilms formed by wild-type and hyperbiofilm-forming strains. To determine the potential role of EPS in virulence, pel/psl mutants were shown to have reduced virulence in feeding behavior and slow killing virulence assays in Caenorhabditis elegans The antibiofilm molecules also reduced P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence in the nematode slow killing model. Importantly, the combination of antibiotics and antibiofilm compounds increased killing of P. aeruginosa biofilms. These small molecules represent a novel anti-infective strategy for the possible treatment of chronic P. aeruginosa infections.
Project description:AIM:To investigate the anti-biofilm efficacy and working mechanism of several NaOCl concentrations on dual-species biofilms of different architecture as well as the changes induced on the architecture of the remaining biofilms. METHODOLOGY:Streptococcus oralis J22 and Actinomyces naeslundii T14V-J1 were co-cultured under different growth conditions on saliva-coated hydroxyapatite discs. A constant-depth film fermenter (CDFF) was used to grow steady-state, four-day mature biofilms (dense architecture). Biofilms were grown under static conditions for 4 days within a confined space (less dense architecture). Twenty microlitres of buffer, 2-, 5-, and 10% NaOCl were applied statically on the biofilms for 60 s. Biofilm disruption and dissolution, as well as bubble formation, were evaluated with optical coherence tomography (OCT). The viscoelastic profile of the biofilms post-treatment was assessed with low load compression testing (LLCT). The bacteria/extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) content of the biofilms was examined through confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). OCT, LLCT and CLSM data were analysed through one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's HSD post-hoc test. Linear regression analysis was performed to test the correlation between bubble formation and NaOCl concentration. The level of significance was set at a < 0.05. RESULTS:The experimental hypothesis according to which enhanced biofilm disruption, dissolution and bubble formation were anticipated with increasing NaOCl concentration was generally confirmed in both biofilm types. Distinct differences between the two biofilm types were noted with regard to NaOCl anti-biofilm efficiency as well as the effect that the several NaOCl concentrations had on the viscoelasticity profile and the bacteria/EPS content. Along with the bubble generation patterns observed, these led to the formulation of a concentration and biofilm structure-dependent theory of biofilm removal. CONCLUSIONS:Biofilm architecture seems to be an additional determining factor of the penetration capacity of NaOCl, and consequently of its anti-biofilm efficiency.
Project description:Biooxidation of reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs) by thermoacidophiles is of particular interest for the biomining industry and for environmental issues, e.g., formation of acid mine drainage (AMD). Up to now, interfacial interactions of acidophiles with elemental sulfur as well as the mechanisms of sulfur oxidation by acidophiles, especially thermoacidophiles, are not yet fully clear. This work focused on how a crenarchaeal isolate Acidianus sp. DSM 29099 interacts with elemental sulfur. Analysis by Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in combination with Epifluorescence microscopy (EFM) shows that biofilms on elemental sulfur are characterized by single colonies and a monolayer in first stage and later on 3-D structures with a diameter of up to 100 ?m. The analysis of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) by a non-destructive lectin approach (fluorescence lectin-barcoding analysis) using several fluorochromes shows that intial attachment was featured by footprints rich in biofilm cells that were embedded in an EPS matrix consisting of various glycoconjugates. Wet chemistry data indicate that carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and uronic acids are the main components. Attenuated reflectance (ATR)-Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and high-performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-PAD) indicate glucose and mannose as the main monosaccharides in EPS polysaccharides. EPS composition as well as sugar types in EPS vary according to substrate (sulfur or tetrathionate) and lifestyle (biofilms and planktonic cells). This study provides information on the building blocks/make up as well as dynamics of biofilms of thermoacidophilic archaea in extremely acidic environments.