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Biofilm formation is important for Enterococcus faecalis to cause healthcare-associated infections. It is unclear how E. faecalis biofilms vary in parameters such as development and composition. To test the hypothesis that differences in biofilms exist among E. faecalis strains, we evaluated in vitro biofilm formation and matrix characteristics of five genetically diverse E. faecalis lab-adapted strains and clinical isolates (OG1RF, V583, DS16, MMH594, and VA1128). Biofilm formation of all strains was repressed in TSB+10% FBS. However, DMEM+10% FBS enhanced biofilm formation of clinical isolate VA1128. Crystal violet staining and fluorescence microscopy of biofilms grown on Aclar membranes demonstrated differences between OG1RF and VA1128 in biofilm development over a 48-h time course. None of the biofilms were dispersed by single treatments of sodium (meta)periodate, DNase, or Proteinase K alone, but the biofilm biomass of both OG1RF and DS16 was partially removed by a sequential treatment of sodium (meta)periodate and DNase. Reversing the treatment order was not effective, suggesting that the extracellular DNA targeted by DNase was obscured by carbohydrates that are susceptible to sodium (meta)periodate degradation. Fluorescent staining of biofilm matrix components further demonstrated that more carbohydrates bound by wheat germ agglutinin comprise OG1RF biofilms compared to VA1128 biofilms. This study highlights the existence of heterogeneity in biofilm properties among diverse E. faecalis strains, which may have implications for the design of novel anti-biofilm treatment strategies. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.


Scott D Schaffer, Carissa A Hutchison, Candace N Rouchon, Nontokozo V Mdluli, Arielle J Weinstein, Dennis McDaniel, Kristi L Frank. Diverse Enterococcus faecalis strains show heterogeneity in biofilm properties. Research in microbiology. 2023 Jan-Feb;174(1-2):103986

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PMID: 35995340

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