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Biofilm differentiation and dispersal in mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis


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Kirov, SM, Webb, JS, O'May, CY, Reid, DW, Woo, JKK, Rice, SA and Kjelleberg, S 2007 , 'Biofilm differentiation and dispersal in mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis' , Microbiology, vol. 153, no. Pt 10 , pp. 3264-3274 , doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2007/009092-0.

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Intractable biofilm infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the major cause of premature
death associated with cystic fibrosis (CF). Few studies have explored the biofilm developmental
cycle of P. aeruginosa isolates from chronically infected individuals. This study shows that such
clinical isolates exhibit biofilm differentiation and dispersal processes similar to those of the
better-studied laboratory P. aeruginosa strain PAO1 in the glass flow-cell (continuous-culture)
biofilm model, albeit they are initially less adherent and their microcolonies are slower to develop
and show heterogeneous, strain-specific variations in architecture. Confocal scanning laser
microscopy combined with LIVE/DEAD viability staining revealed that in all CF biofilms bacterial
cell death occurred in maturing biofilms, extending from the substratum to the central regions of
mature microcolonies to varying degrees, depending on the strain. Bacteriophage activity was
detected in the maturing biofilms of all CF strains examined and the amount of phage produced
paralleled the degree of cell death seen in the biofilm. Some CF strains exhibited ‘seeding
dispersal’ associated with the above phenomena, producing ‘hollowing’ as motile cells evacuated
from the microcolony interiors as has been described for strain PAO1. Moreover, morphotypic cell
variants were seen in the biofilm effluents of all CF strains. For those CF strains where marked
cell death and seeding dispersal occurred in the microcolonies, variants were more diverse (up to
five morphotypes) compared to those of strain PAO1 (two morphotypes). Given that variants of
strain PAO1 have enhanced colonization traits, it seems likely that the similar biofilm dispersal
events described here for CF strains contribute to the variability seen in clinical isolates and the
overall persistence of the P. aeruginosa in the CF airway.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kirov, SM and Webb, JS and O'May, CY and Reid, DW and Woo, JKK and Rice, SA and Kjelleberg, S
Journal or Publication Title: Microbiology
Publisher: Society for General Microbiolgy
ISSN: 1350-0872
DOI / ID Number: 10.1099/mic.0.2007/009092-0
Additional Information:, and is freely available without a subscription.

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