Isolation of a Novel Jumbo Bacteriophage Effective Against Klebsiella aerogenes.
ABSTRACT: Increasing levels of bacterial resistance to many common and last resort antibiotics has increased interest in finding new treatments. The low rate of approval of new antibiotics has led to the search for new and alternative antimicrobial compounds. Bacteriophages (phages) are bacterial viruses found in almost every environment. Phage therapy was historically investigated to control bacterial infections and is still in use in Georgia and as a treatment of last resort. Phage therapy is increasingly recognized as an alternative antimicrobial treatment for antibiotic resistant pathogens. A novel lytic Klebsiella aerogenes phage N1M2 was isolated from maize silage. Klebsiella aerogenes, a member of the ESKAPE bacterial pathogens, is an important target for new antimicrobial therapies. Klebsiella aerogenes can form biofilms on medical devices which aids its environmental persistence and for this reason we tested the effect of phage N1M2 against biofilms. Phage N1M2 successfully removed a pre-formed Klebsiella aerogenes biofilm. Biofilm assays were also carried out with Staphylococcus aureus and Phage K. Phage K successfully removed a preformed Staphylococcus aureus biofilm. Phage N1M2 and Phage K in combination were significantly better at removing a mixed community biofilm of Klebsiella aerogenes and Staphylococcus aureus than either phage alone.
Project description:The antimicrobial activity of the marine bisindole alkaloid 2,2-bis(6-bromo-3-indolyl) ethylamine (1) and related synthetic analogues (compounds 2⁻8) against target microorganisms was investigated by Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) determination. Compound 1 showed the greatest antimicrobial activity with the lowest MIC (8 mg/L) against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, while the derivatives exhibited higher MICs values (from 16 to 128 mg/L). Compounds 1, 3, 4, and 8, the most active ones, were then tested against E. coli, S. aureus, K. pneumoniae, and Candida albicans during biofilms formation as well as on 24 h developed biofilms. The natural alkaloid 1 inhibited the biofilm formation of all the tested microorganisms up to 82.2% and disaggregated biofilms of E. coli, S. aureus, K. pneumoniae, and C. albicans after 30 min of contact, as assessed by viable plate count and crystal violet (CV) staining (optical density at 570 nm). Synthetic derivatives 3, 4, and 8 displayed anti-biofilm activity toward individual bacterial populations. This study highlights the potential of marine bisindole alkaloid 1 as anti-biofilm agent and shows, through a preliminary structure activity relationship (SAR), the importance of halogens and ethylamine side chain for the antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of this bisindole series.
Project description:Biofilms are major causes of impairment of wound healing and patient morbidity. One of the most common and aggressive wound pathogens is Staphylococcus aureus, displaying a large repertoire of virulence factors and commonly reduced susceptibility to antibiotics, such as the spread of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Bacteriophages are obligate parasites of bacteria. They multiply intracellularly and lyse their bacterial host, releasing their progeny. We isolated a novel phage, DRA88, which has a broad host range among S. aureus bacteria. Morphologically, the phage belongs to the Myoviridae family and comprises a large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genome of 141,907 bp. DRA88 was mixed with phage K to produce a high-titer mixture that showed strong lytic activity against a wide range of S. aureus isolates, including representatives of the major international MRSA clones and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. Its efficacy was assessed both in planktonic cultures and when treating established biofilms produced by three different biofilm-producing S. aureus isolates. A significant reduction of biofilm biomass over 48 h of treatment was recorded in all cases. The phage mixture may form the basis of an effective treatment for infections caused by S. aureus biofilms.
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:Staphylococcal biofilms are a major concern in both clinical and food settings because they are an important source of contamination. The efficacy of established cleaning procedures is often hindered due to the ability of some antimicrobial compounds to induce biofilm formation, and to the presence of persister cells, a small bacterial subpopulation that exhibits multidrug tolerance. Phage lytic enzymes have demonstrated antimicrobial activity against planktonic and sessile bacteria. However, their ability to lyse and/or select persister cells remains largely unexplored so far. In this work, the lytic activity of the endolysin LysH5 against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms was confirmed. LysH5 reduced staphylococcal sessile cell counts by 1-3 log units, compared with the untreated control, and sub-inhibitory concentrations of this protein did not induce biofilm formation. LysH5-surviving cells were not resistant to the lytic activity of this protein, suggesting that no persister cells were selected. Moreover, to prove the lytic ability of LysH5 against this subpopulation, both S. aureus exponential cultures and persister cells obtained after treatment with rifampicin and ciprofloxacin were subsequently treated with LysH5. The results demonstrated that besides the notable activity of endolysin LysH5 against staphylococcal biofilms, persister cells were also inhibited, which raises new opportunities as an adjuvant for some antibiotics.
Project description:The elimination of bacterial biofilms remains a major challenge due to their recalcitrant nature. Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have been gaining increasing attention as biofilm control agents. However, the development of a successful phage-based strategy requires in-depth analysis of different parameters. It is particularly important to determine the ability of a given phage to diffuse, propagate and remain viable within the complex biofilm structure. Here, we examine some of these properties for two staphylophages, vB_SauM_phiIPLA-RODI and vB_SepM_phiIPLA-C1C. Both <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> and <i>Staphylococcus epidermidis</i> are important opportunistic pathogens that readily form biofilms on a wide array of biotic and abiotic surfaces. Our results confirmed that both phages could penetrate through biofilms formed by several bacterial strains with varying degrees of susceptibility to the viruses and biofilm-forming abilities. However, phage penetration differed depending on the specific bacterium or combination of bacteria. The data presented here suggest that the factors determining the diffusion rate of phages in biofilms include the amount of attached biomass, susceptibility of the strain, initial phage titer, phage entrapment in the extracellular matrix, and phage inactivation. This information will help to further characterize phage-bacteria interactions within biofilm communities and will be valuable for the development of antistaphylococcal products based on these phages.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus often cause chronic, recalcitrant infections in large part due to their ability to form biofilms. The biofilm mode of growth enables these organisms to withstand antibacterial insults that would effectively eliminate their planktonic counterparts. We found that P. aeruginosa supernatant increased the sensitivity of S. aureus biofilms to multiple antimicrobial compounds, including fluoroquinolones and membrane-targeting antibacterial agents, including the antiseptic chloroxylenol. Treatment of S. aureus with the antiseptic chloroxylenol alone did not decrease biofilm cell viability; however, the combination of chloroxylenol and P. aeruginosa supernatant led to a 4-log reduction in S. aureus biofilm viability compared to exposure to chloroxylenol alone. We found that the P. aeruginosa-produced small molecule 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO) is responsible for the observed heightened sensitivity of S. aureus to chloroxylenol. Similarly, HQNO increased the susceptibility of S. aureus biofilms to other compounds, including both traditional and nontraditional antibiotics, which permeabilize bacterial membranes. Genetic and phenotypic studies support a model whereby HQNO causes an increase in S. aureus membrane fluidity, thereby improving the efficacy of membrane-targeting antiseptics and antibiotics. Importantly, our data show that P. aeruginosa exoproducts can enhance the ability of various antimicrobial agents to kill biofilm populations of S. aureus that are typically difficult to eradicate. Finally, our discovery that altering membrane fluidity shifts antimicrobial sensitivity profiles of bacterial biofilms may guide new approaches to target persistent infections, such as those commonly found in respiratory tract infections and in chronic wounds.IMPORTANCE The thick mucus in the airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients predisposes them to frequent, polymicrobial respiratory infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus are frequently coisolated from the airways of individuals with CF, as well as from diabetic foot ulcers and other wounds. Both organisms form biofilms, which are notoriously difficult to eradicate and promote chronic infection. In this study, we have shown that P. aeruginosa-secreted factors can increase the efficacy of compounds that alone have little or no bactericidal activity against S. aureus biofilms. In particular, we discovered that P. aeruginosa exoproducts can potentiate the antistaphylococcal activity of phenol-based antiseptics and other membrane-active drugs. Our findings illustrate that polymicrobial interactions can dramatically increase antibacterial efficacy in vitro and suggest that altering membrane physiology promotes the ability of certain drugs to kill bacterial biofilms-knowledge that may provide a path for the discovery of new biofilm-targeting antimicrobial strategies.
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.
Project description:Wound infection, especially the development of bacterial biofilms, delays wound healing and is a major public health concern. Bacteria in biofilms are more tolerant to antimicrobial agents, and new treatments to eradicate mature biofilms are needed. Combining antimicrobial molecules with different mechanisms of action is an attractive strategy to tackle the heterogeneous nature of microbial communities in biofilms. This study focused on three molecules of natural origin: gallic acid (G), carvacrol (K) and curcumin (Q). Their abilities, individually or in combination, to eradicate biofilms were quantified on mono- and dual-species mature biofilms of <i>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</i> and <i>Staphylococcus aureus,</i> the strains most commonly found in infected wounds. G presented biofilm eradicating activity on <i>P. aeruginosa</i>, whereas K had biofilm eradicating activity on <i>S. aureus</i> and <i>P. aeruginosa</i>. Q had no potent biofilm eradicating activity. The combination of G and K increased the effects previously observed on <i>P. aeruginosa</i> biofilm and led to complete eradication of <i>S. aureus</i> biofilm. This combination was also efficient in eradicating a dual-species biofilm of <i>S. aureus</i> and <i>P. aeruginosa</i>. This work demonstrates that K and G used in combination have a strong and synergistic eradicating activity on both mono- and dual-species mature biofilms of <i>S. aureus</i> and <i>P. aeruginosa</i> and may therefore represent an efficient alternative for the treatment of biofilms in wounds.
Project description:Treatment of infections caused by staphylococci has become more difficult because of the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains as well as biofilm formation. In this study, we observed the ability of the phage lysin LysGH15 to eliminate staphylococcal planktonic cells and biofilms formed by Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, and Staphylococcus hominis All these strains were sensitive to LysGH15, showing reductions in bacterial counts of approximately 4 log units within 30 min after treatment with 20 ?g/ml of LysGH15, and the MICs ranged from 8 ?g/ml to 32 ?g/ml. LysGH15 efficiently prevented biofilm formation by the four staphylococcal species at a dose of 50 ?g/ml. At a higher dose (100 ?g/ml), LysGH15 also showed notable disrupting activity against 24-h and 72-h biofilms formed by S. aureus and coagulase-negative species. In the in vivo experiments, a single intraperitoneal injection of LysGH15 (20 ?g/mouse) administered 1 h after the injection of S. epidermidis at double the minimum lethal dose was sufficient to protect the mice. The S. epidermidis cell counts were 4 log units lower in the blood and 3 log units lower in the organs of mice 24 h after treatment with LysGH15 than in the untreated control mice. LysGH15 reduced cytokine levels in the blood and improved pathological changes in the organs. The broad antistaphylococcal activity exerted by LysGH15 on planktonic cells and biofilms makes LysGH15 a valuable treatment option for biofilm-related or non-biofilm-related staphylococcal infections.IMPORTANCE Most staphylococcal species are major causes of health care- and community-associated infections. In particular, Staphylococcus aureus is a common and dangerous pathogen, and Staphylococcus epidermidis is a ubiquitous skin commensal and opportunistic pathogen. Treatment of infections caused by staphylococci has become more difficult because of the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains as well as biofilm formation. In this study, we found that all tested S. aureus, S. epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, and Staphylococcus hominis strains were sensitive to the phage lysin LysGH15 (MICs ranging from 8 to 32 ?g/ml). More importantly, LysGH15 not only prevented biofilm formation by these staphylococci but also disrupted 24-h and 72-h biofilms. Furthermore, the in vivo efficacy of LysGH15 was demonstrated in a mouse model of S. epidermidis bacteremia. Thus, LysGH15 exhibits therapeutic potential for treating biofilm-related or non-biofilm-related infections caused by diverse staphylococci.
Project description:<i>Klebsiella</i> infections, including catheter associated urinary tract infections, are a considerable burden on health care systems. This is due to their difficulty to treat, caused by antimicrobial resistance and their ability to form biofilms. In this study, we investigated the use of a <i>Klebsiella</i> phage cocktail to reduce biofilm viability. We used two methodologies to investigate this, a standard 96-well plate assay and a more complicated Foley catheter-based model. The phage cocktail was used alone and in combination with clinically relevant antibiotic treatments. Viability was measured by both a resazurin based stain and colony forming unit counts, of cells sloughed off from the biofilm. We showed that phage infection dynamics and host survival vary significantly in different standard laboratory media, presumably due to the expression of different surface receptors and capsule composition by the bacteria effecting phage binding. This underscores the importance of a realistic model for developing phage therapy. We demonstrate that bacteriophage-based treatments are a viable option for preventing <i>Klebsiella</i> colonisation and biofilm formation on urinary catheters. Phage cocktails were able to significantly reduce the amount of biofilm that formed when they were present during early biofilm formation. The phages used in this study were unable to significantly reduce a pre-formed mature biofilm, despite encoding depolymerases. Phages applied together with antimicrobial treatments, showed synergistic interactions, in some cases the combined treatment was much more effective than antimicrobial treatments alone. We show that phage cocktails have the potential to prevent <i>Klebsiella</i> biofilms in catheters, if used early or as a preventative treatment and will work well alongside standard antibiotics in the treatment of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).