Biofilm formation by Staphylococcus epidermidis is a cause of infections related to peritoneal dialysis (PD). We have used a PD catheter flow-cell model in combination with confocal scanning laser microscopy and atomic force microscopy to study biofilm formation by S. epidermidis. Adherence to serum-coated catheters was four times greater than to uncoated ones, suggesting that S. epidermidis binds to serum proteins on the catheter surface. Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm supernatant interfered with the formation of a serum protein coat thereby reducing the capacity for biofilm formation in S. epidermidis. Supernatants from ΔpelA, ΔpslBCD and ΔrhlAB strains of P. aeruginosa showed no differences from the wild-type supernatant indicating that the effect on serum coat formation was not due to rhamnolipids or the PelA and PslBCD polysaccharides. Supernatant from P. aeruginosa also dispersed established S. epidermidis biofilms. Supernatants lacking PelA or PslBCD showed no differences from the wild type but that from a ΔrhlAB strain, showed reduced, but not abolished, capacity for dispersal. This suggests that rhamnolipids are involved but not wholly responsible for the effect. Thus, supernatants from P. aeruginosa contain promising substances for the prevention and treatment of biofilm infections, although further work is required to identity more active components.
Pathogens and Disease, 2013, Vol 67, Issue 3, p. 192-198