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Chronic wounds will impact 2% of the United States population at some point in their life. These wounds are often associated with a reoccurring, chronic infection caused by a community of microorganisms encased in an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), or a biofilm. Biofilm-associated microbes can exhibit tolerance to antibiotics, which has prompted researchers to investigate therapeutics that improve antibiotic efficacy. Glycoside hydrolases (GHs), enzymes that target the polysaccharide linkages within the EPS, are one potential adjunctive therapy. In order to develop GH-based therapeutics, it is imperative that we understand whether the composition of biofilm EPS changes based on the environment and/or presence of other microbes. Here, we utilized α-amylase and cellulase to target the polysaccharides within the EPS of mono- and dual-species Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in three different models that vary in clinical relevancy. We show that biofilms established in an in vitro well-plate model are not strongly adhered to the polystyrene surface and do not accurately reflect the GH efficacy seen with biofilms grown in vivo. However, dispersal efficacy in an in vitro wound microcosm model was more reflective of that seen in a murine wound model. We also saw a striking loss of efficacy for cellulase to disperse S. aureus in both mono- and dual species biofilms grown in the wound models, suggesting that EPS constituents may be altered depending on the environment. Copyright © 2020 Redman, Welch and Rumbaugh.


Whitni K Redman, Garrett S Welch, Kendra P Rumbaugh. Differential Efficacy of Glycoside Hydrolases to Disperse Biofilms. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology. 2020 Jul 24;10:379

PMID: 32793516

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