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Catheter-related urinary tract infections are one of the most common biofilm-associated diseases. Within biofilms, bacteria cooperate, compete, or have neutral interactions. This study aimed to investigate the interactions in polymicrobial biofilms of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis, two of the most common uropathogens. Although K. pneumoniae was the most adherent strain, it could not maintain dominance in the polymicrobial biofilm due to the lactic acid produced by E. faecalis in a glucose-enriched medium. This result was supported by the use of E. faecalis V583 ldh-1/ldh-2 double mutant (non-producer of lactic acid), which did not inhibit the growth of K. pneumoniae. Lyophilized cell-free supernatants obtained from E. faecalis biofilms also showed antimicrobial/anti-biofilm activity against K. pneumoniae. Conversely, there were no significant differences in planktonic polymicrobial cultures. In summary, E. faecalis modifies the pH by lactic acid production in polymicrobial biofilms, which impairs the growth of K. pneumoniae.


Victoria Ballén, Carlos Ratia, Virginio Cepas, Sara M Soto. Enterococcus faecalis inhibits Klebsiella pneumoniae growth in polymicrobial biofilms in a glucose-enriched medium. Biofouling. 2020 Aug;36(7):846-861

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PMID: 32972252

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