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Targeted disruption of the extracellular polymeric network of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by alginate oligosaccharides
npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, Volume: 4, Issue: 1
Swansea University Authors: Lydia Powell , Paul Lewis
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DOI (Published version): 10.1038/s41522-018-0056-3
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 molecula...
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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 simulations (MDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Imaging demonstrated that OligoG treatment (>0.5%) inhibited biofilm formation, demonstrating a significant reduction in both biomass and biofilm height (17.8 vs. 5.5 µm; 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 sugar residues, 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 MDS. 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.