Association of some Campylobacter jejuni with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms increases attachment under conditions mimicking those in the environment.
ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni is a microaerophilic bacterial species which is a major food-borne pathogen worldwide. Attachment and biofilm formation have been suggested to contribute to the survival of this fastidious bacteria in the environment. In this study the attachment of three C. jejuni strains (C. jejuni strains 2868 and 2871 isolated from poultry and ATCC 33291) to different abiotic surfaces (stainless steel, glass and polystyrene) alone or with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on them, in air at 25°C and under static or flow conditions, were investigated using a modified Robbins Device. Bacteria were enumerated and scanning electron microscopy was carried out. The results indicated that both C. jejuni strains isolated from poultry attached better to Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on abiotic surfaces than to the surfaces alone under the different conditions tested. This suggests that biofilms of other bacterial species may passively protect C. jejuni against shear forces and potentially oxygen stress which then contribute to their persistence in environments which are detrimental to them. By contrast the C. jejuni ATCC 33291 strain did not attach differentially to P. aeruginosa biofilms, suggesting that different C. jejuni strains may have alternative strategies for persistence in the environment. This study supports the hypothesis that C. jejuni do not form biofilms per se under conditions they encounter in the environment but simply attach to surfaces or biofilms of other species.
Project description:Biofilm represents a way of life that allows greater survival of microorganisms in hostile habitats. Campylobacter jejuni is able to form biofilms in vitro and on surfaces at several points in the poultry production chain. Genetic determinants related to their formation are expressed differently between strains and external conditions are decisive in this respect. Our approach combines phylogenetic analysis and the presence of seven specific genes linked to biofilm formation in association with traditional microbiology techniques, using Mueller Hinton and chicken juice as substrates in order to quantify, classify, determine the composition and morphology of the biomass of simple and mixed biofilms of 30 C. jejuni strains. It also evaluates the inhibition of its formation by biocides commonly used in industry and also by zinc oxide nanoparticles. Genetic analysis showed high heterogeneity with the identification of 23 pulsotypes. Despite the diversity, the presence of flaA, cadF, luxS, dnaJ, htrA, cbrA, and sodB genes in all strains shows the high potential for biofilm formation. This ability was only expressed in chicken juice, where they presented phenotype of a strong biofilm producer, with a mean count of 7.37 log CFU/mL and an ultrastructure characteristic of mature biofilm. The composition of simple and mixed biofilms was predominantly composed by proteins. The exceptions were found in mixed biofilms with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which includes a carbohydrate-rich matrix, lower ability to sessile form in chicken juice and compact architecture of the biofilm, this aspects are intrinsic to this species. Hypochlorite, chlorhexidine, and peracetic acid were more effective in controlling viable cells of C. jejuni in biofilm, but the existence of tolerant strains indicates exposure to sublethal concentrations and development of adaptation mechanisms. This study shows that in chicken juice C. jejuni presents greater potential in producing mature biofilms.
Project description:Rhizobium rhizogenes strain K84 is a commercial biocontrol agent used worldwide to control crown gall disease. The organism binds tightly to polypropylene substrate and efficiently colonizes root surfaces as complex, multilayered biofilms. A genetic screen identified two mutants in which these surface interactions were affected. One of these mutants failed to attach and form biofilms on the abiotic surface although, interestingly, it exhibited normal biofilm formation on the biological root tip surface. This mutant is disrupted in a wcbD ortholog gene, which is part of a large locus predicted to encode functions for the biosynthesis and export of a group II capsular polysaccharide (CPS). Expression of a functional copy of wcbD in the mutant background restored the ability of the bacteria to attach and form normal biofilms on the abiotic surface. The second identified mutant attached and formed visibly denser biofilms on both abiotic and root tip surfaces. This mutant is disrupted in the rkpK gene, which is predicted to encode a UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase required for O-antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and K-antigen capsular polysaccharide (KPS) biosynthesis in rhizobia. The rkpK mutant from strain K84 was deficient in O-antigen synthesis and exclusively produced rough LPS. We also show that strain K84 does not synthesize the KPS typical of some other rhizobia strains. In addition, we identified a putative type II CPS, distinct from KPS, that mediates cell-surface interactions, and we show that O antigen of strain K84 is necessary for normal cell-cell interactions in the biofilms.
Project description:Discovery of nanopillars on the surface of the insect wings had led to the understanding of its bactericidal property. Nanopillar topography is deterrent to only those bacteria that are attached, or in close contact with the nanopillars. The present study investigated the variation in the viability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains PAO1 (virulent) and ATCC 9027 (avirulent) on the wing surface of dragonfly (Pantala flavescens). Viability study indicated that only 0.2% ATCC 9027 survived when incubated with wing for 48 h in Phosphate buffered saline, while under the same conditions 43.47% PAO1 survived. Enumeration of Pseudomonas attached to wing surface suggested that, the number of PAO1 attached on the wing surface was three times lesser than ATCC 9027. Propensity of attachment of P. aeruginosa strains PAO1 and ATCC 9027 on the wing surface investigated using scanning probe microscope indicated that P. aeruginosa ATCC 9027 showed adhesion to 88% of regions and, PAO1 showed adhesion to only 48% regions tested on wing surface. PAO1 survived the bactericidal effect of wing surface by evading attachment. Three clinical isolates tested which showed viability similar to PAO1 strain, also showed lower propensity to attach to wing surface. Transcriptional level analyses using RT-PCR suggested that flagellar genes (fliE and fleS) were downregulated and genes responsible for reversible to irreversible attachment (gcbA and rsmZ) were upregulated in ATCC 9027 than PAO1 on wing surface, indicating relatively higher attachment of ATCC 9027 on wing surface. The study suggests that virulent strains of P. aeruginosa may evade attachment on wing surface. The results gain significance as bioinspired surfaces are being created towards developing antibacterial medical implants and other antibacterial surface applications.
Project description:Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103) is one of the clinically best-studied probiotic organisms. Moreover, L. rhamnosus GG displays very good in vitro adherence to epithelial cells and mucus. Here, we report that L. rhamnosus GG is able to form biofilms on abiotic surfaces, in contrast to other strains of the Lactobacillus casei group tested under the same conditions. Microtiter plate biofilm assays indicated that in vitro biofilm formation by L. rhamnosus GG is strongly modulated by culture medium factors and conditions related to the gastrointestinal environment, including low pH; high osmolarity; and the presence of bile, mucins, and nondigestible polysaccharides. Additionally, phenotypic analysis of mutants affected in exopolysaccharides (wzb), lipoteichoic acid (dltD), and central metabolism (luxS) showed their relative importance in biofilm formation by L. rhamnosus GG.
Project description:Chronic infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa are generally established through production of biofilm. During biofilm formation, production of an extracellular matrix and establishment of a distinct bacterial phenotype make these infections difficult to eradicate. However, biofilm studies have been hampered by the fact that most assays utilize nonliving surfaces as biofilm attachment substrates. In an attempt to better understand the mechanisms behind P. aeruginosa biofilm formation, we performed a genetic screen to identify novel factors involved in biofilm formation on biotic and abiotic surfaces. We found that deletion of genes polB and PA14_46880 reduced biofilm formation significantly compared to that in the wild-type strain PA14 in an abiotic biofilm system. In a biotic biofilm model, wherein biofilms form on cultured airway cells, the ?polB and ?PA14_46880 strains showed increased cytotoxic killing of the airway cells independent of the total number of bacteria bound. Notably, deletion mutant strains were more resistant to ciprofloxacin treatment. This phenotype was linked to decreased expression of algR, an alginate transcriptional regulatory gene, under ciprofloxacin pressure. Moreover, we found that pyocyanin production was increased in planktonic cells of mutant strains. These results indicate that inactivation of polB and PA14_46880 may inhibit transition of P. aeruginosa from a more acute infection lifestyle to the biofilm phenotype. Future investigation of these genes may lead to a better understanding of P. aeruginosa biofilm formation and chronic biofilm infections.
Project description:Exponentially growing bacteria in a well-mixed planktonic culture are generally assumed to be physiologically and phenotypically uniform and distinct from their genetically identical counterparts living in biofilms. Using a combination of high spatiotemporal microscopy and a bacterial tracking algorithm, in this study, we showed that planktonic cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa differently attached to surfaces even when they remained in the exponential phase. We consistently observed that fast- and slow-attaching phenotypes coexist in planktonic cells, regardless of their growth phase. Furthermore, we found that (i) the distinct attaching phenotypes of planktonic cells resulted from the differential production of Psl and (ii) the RsmYZ/RsmA signaling pathway mainly regulated the differential production of Psl. Our results indicate that the differential production of Psl in P. aeruginosa plays a significant role in biofilm development and formation.IMPORTANCE The attachment of planktonic cells to surfaces is the first and most crucial step in biofilm formation. In this paper, we show that planktonic cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa differently attach to surfaces. Typically, in the later exponential phase, approximately 80% of the cells can quickly attach to surfaces within 15 min, whereas approximately 20% of the cells slowly attach to surfaces, which greatly affects the initial stage of biofilm formation in the presence of flows. This is because fast-attaching cells are more likely to attach on surfaces to form microcolonies, whereas slow-attaching cells are more likely to remain in the mobile phase. This scenario is different from the previous understanding of biofilm formation in the initial stage, in which planktonic cells were thought to uniformly attach to surfaces. Most notably, the results of this study show that the different attachment manner of planktonic cells to surfaces affects the subsequent stages of biofilm formation. This research highlights that the phenotypic variations in planktonic cells plays significant roles in various stages of biofilm formation.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial enteritis in Europe. Human campylobacteriosis cases are frequently associated to the consumption of contaminated poultry meat. To survive under environmental conditions encountered along the food chain, i.e., from poultry digestive tract its natural reservoir to the consumer's plate, this pathogen has developed adaptation mechanisms. Among those, biofilm lifestyle has been suggested as a strategy to survive in the food environment and under atmospheric conditions. Recently, the clinical isolate C. jejuni Bf has been shown to survive and grow under aerobic conditions, a property that may help this strain to better survive along the food chain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adhesion capacity of C. jejuni Bf and its ability to develop a biofilm. C. jejuni Bf can adhere to abiotic surfaces and to human epithelial cells, and can develop biofilm under both microaerobiosis and aerobiosis. These two conditions have no influence on this strain, unlike results obtained with the reference strain C. jejuni 81-176, which harbors only planktonic cells under aerobic conditions. Compared to 81-176, the biofilm of C. jejuni Bf is more homogenous and cell motility at the bottom of biofilm was not modified whatever the atmosphere used. C. jejuni Bf whole genome sequence did not reveal any gene unique to this strain, suggesting that its unusual property does not result from acquisition of new genetic material. Nevertheless some genetic particularities seem to be shared only between Bf and few others strains. Among the main features of C. jejuni Bf genome we noticed (i) a complete type VI secretion system important in pathogenicity and environmental adaptation; (ii) a mutation in the oorD gene involved in oxygen metabolism; and (iii) the presence of an uncommon insertion of a 72 amino acid coding sequence upstream from dnaK, which is involved in stress resistance. Therefore, the atypical behavior of this strain under aerobic atmosphere may result from the combination of insertions and mutations. In addition, the comparison of mRNA transcript levels of several genes targeted through genome analysis suggests the modification of regulatory processes in this strain.
Project description:P. aeruginosa forms biofilms in the lungs of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF); however, there have been no effective model systems for studying biofilm formation in the CF lung. We have developed a tissue culture system for growth of P. aeruginosa biofilms on CF-derived human airway cells that promotes the formation of highly antibiotic-resistant microcolonies, which produce an extracellular polysaccharide matrix and require the known abiotic biofilm formation genes flgK and pilB. Treatment of P. aeruginosa biofilms with tobramycin reduced the virulence of the biofilms both by reducing bacterial numbers and by altering virulence gene expression. We performed microarray analysis of these biofilms on epithelial cells after treatment with tobramycin, and we compared these results with gene expression of (i) tobramycin-treated planktonic P. aeruginosa and (ii) tobramycin-treated P. aeruginosa biofilms on an abiotic surface. Despite the conservation in functions required to form a biofilm, our results show that the responses to tobramycin treatment of biofilms grown on biotic versus abiotic surfaces are different, as exemplified by downregulation of genes involved in Pseudomonas quinolone signal biosynthesis specifically in epithelial cell-grown biofilms versus plastic-grown biofilms. We also identified the gene PA0913, which is upregulated by tobramycin specifically in biofilms grown on CF airway cells and codes for a probable magnesium transporter, MgtE. Mutation of the PA0913 gene increased the bacterial virulence of biofilms on the epithelial cells, consistent with a role for the gene in the suppression of bacterial virulence. Taken together, our data show that analysis of biofilms on airway cells provides new insights into the interaction of these microbial communities with the host.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kpn) strains are a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia. Resistance to antibiotics, biofilm formation, and the production of certain fimbriae play an important role in the pathogenesis. AIM:We investigated the genetic relatedness, antibiotic resistance, virulence potential, and ability to form biofilms of Kpn strains isolated from hospital-acquired infections (n = 76). Strains were isolated at three major hospitals serving the largest metropolitan urban area in Mexico City, Mexico. RESULTS:Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR demonstrated that clonal groups predominate in each hospital. Selected strains chosen from clonal groups (n = 47) were multidrug resistant (MDR, 83%), although the majority (∼70%) were susceptible to carbapenems. All strains produced robust biofilms on abiotic surfaces, and ∼90% harbored adhesin genes fimH, mrkA, and ecpA. The ultrastructure of biofilms was further studied by high-resolution confocal microscopy. The average height of Kpn biofilms on abiotic surfaces was ∼40 μm. We then assessed formation of biofilms on human lung cells, as a surrogate of lung infection. While Kpn strains formed robust biofilms on abiotic surfaces, studies on lung cells revealed attachment to human cells but scarce formation of biofilms. Gene expression studies revealed a differential temporal expression of an adhesin (ecpA) and a capsule (galF) gene when biofilms were formed on different substrates. CONCLUSIONS:Kpn strains isolated from nosocomial infections in Mexico City are MDR, although the majority are still susceptible to carbapenems and form more robust biofilms on polystyrene in comparison to those formed on human cells.
Project description:The persistence of bacterial biofilms in chronic wounds delays wound healing. Although Ga(3+) can inhibit or kill biofilms, precipitation as Ga(OH)3 has prevented its use as a topical wound treatment. The design of a microfilm construct comprising a polyelectrolyte film that releases noncytotoxic concentrations of Ga(3+) over 20 d and a dissolvable micrometer-thick film of polyvinylalcohol that enables facile transfer onto biomedically important surfaces is reported. By using infrared spectroscopy, it is shown that the density of free carboxylate/carboxylic acid and amine groups within the polyelectrolyte film regulates the capacity of the construct to be loaded with Ga(3+) and that the density of covalent cross-links introduced into the polyelectrolyte film (amide-bonds) controls the release rate of Ga(3+) . Following transfer onto the wound-contact surface of a biologic wound dressing, an optimized construct is demonstrated to release ?0.7 ?g cm(-2) d(-1) of Ga(3+) over 3 weeks, thus continuously replacing Ga(3+) lost to precipitation. The optimized construct inhibits formation of P. aeruginosa (two strains; ATCC 27853 and PA01) biofilms for up to 4 d and causes pre-existing biofilms to disperse. Overall, this study provides designs of polymeric constructs that permit facile modification of the wound-contacting surfaces of dressings and biomaterials to manage biofilms.