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Molecular Determinants of the Thickened Matrix in a Dual-Species Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis Biofilm

 Keehoon Lee  ;  Kang-Mu Lee  ;  Donggeun Kim  ;  Sang Sun Yoon 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Bacterial Proteins/genetics ; Bacterial Proteins/metabolism ; Biofilms/growth & development* ; Enterococcus faecalis/chemistry ; Enterococcus faecalis/genetics ; Enterococcus faecalis/growth & development ; Enterococcus faecalis/physiology* ; Mutation ; Polysaccharides, Bacterial/chemistry ; Polysaccharides, Bacterial/metabolism* ; Pseudomonas aeruginosa/chemistry ; Pseudomonas aeruginosa/genetics ; Pseudomonas aeruginosa/growth & development ; Pseudomonas aeruginosa/physiology*
Enterococcus faecalis ; Pseudomonas aeruginosa ; biofilms ; polymicrobial
Biofilms are microbial communities that inhabit various surfaces and are surrounded by extracellular matrices (ECMs). Clinical microbiologists have shown that the majority of chronic infections are caused by biofilms, following the introduction of the first biofilm infection model by J. W. Costerton and colleagues (J. Lam, R. Chan, K. Lam, and J. W. Costerton, Infect Immun 28:546-556, 1980). However, treatments for chronic biofilm infections are still limited to surgical removal of the infected sites. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis are two frequently identified bacterial species in biofilm infections; nevertheless, the interactions between these two species, especially during biofilm growth, are not clearly understood. In this study, we observed phenotypic changes in a dual-species biofilm of P. aeruginosa and E. faecalis, including a dramatic increase in biofilm matrix thickness. For clear elucidation of the spatial distribution of the dual-species biofilm, P. aeruginosa and E. faecalis were labeled with red and green fluorescence, respectively. E. faecalis was located at the lower part of the dual-species biofilm, while P. aeruginosa developed a structured biofilm on the upper part. Mutants with altered exopolysaccharide (EPS) productions were constructed in order to determine the molecular basis for the synergistic effect of the dual-species biofilm. Increased biofilm matrix thickness was associated with EPSs, not extracellular DNA. In particular, Pel and Psl contributed to interspecies and intraspecies interactions, respectively, in the dual-species P. aeruginosa and E. faecalis biofilm. Accordingly, targeting Pel and Psl might be an effective part of eradicating P. aeruginosa polymicrobial biofilms.IMPORTANCE Chronic infection is a serious problem in the medical field. Scientists have observed that chronic infections are closely associated with biofilms, and the vast majority of infection-causing biofilms are polymicrobial. Many studies have reported that microbes in polymicrobial biofilms interact with each other and that the bacterial interactions result in elevated virulence, in terms of factors, such as infectivity and antibiotic resistance. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis are frequently isolated pathogens in chronic biofilm infections. Nevertheless, while both bacteria are known to be agents of numerous nosocomial infections and can cause serious diseases, interactions between the bacteria in biofilms have rarely been examined. In this investigation, we aimed to characterize P. aeruginosa and E. faecalis dual-species biofilms and to determine the molecular factors that cause synergistic effects, especially on the matrix thickening of the biofilm. We suspect that our findings will contribute to the development of more efficient methods for eradicating polymicrobial biofilm infections.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Microbiology (미생물학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Yoon, Sang Sun(윤상선) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2979-365X
Lee, Kang Mu(이강무) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7414-5921
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