The Effects of Interkingdom Signaling on Biofilm Dispersal in Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The bacterium Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), is an uprising problem within the healthcare system today. Invasive Staphylococcal infections range from small infections to systemic disease. They can be fatal in the immunocompromised (Tong et al., 2015) and from 2015-2016 MSSA bacteremia has risen by 8% in the UK (Quarterly Epidemiological Commentary, 2017). It is able to form biofilms and colonize within the host body, which enables it to transition to invasive disease via Interkingdom signaling mechanisms. Biofilms allow the bacteria to asymptomatically colonize within the host. Little is understood around these mechanisms and how the process of biofilm dispersal can result in Staphylococcal disease. Studies previously done on S. aureus with relation to biofilm dispersal have found that dispersal is increased when biofilm is introduced to the signals given by the host in response to viral infection. In this study, the biofilms response to these signals was investigated and the effect it had on the rate of dispersal. S. aureus NCTC 6571 biofilms were grown in Trypiticase Soy Broth and 2% NaCl solution on a 96-well microtiter plate. The conditions added, such as cell lysate, mimicked a viral infection when incubated with the biofilm. The biofilm was stained using Crystal Violet and the absorbance values were then read using a spectrophotometer for supernatant and biomass so the data could be interpreted. After discovering an issue with using PBS solution and changing the experimental design, adding host signals such as febrile-range temperature and dilution factors of cell lysate resulted in a decrease of dispersal from the biofilm, therefore, the hypothesis for the study was rejected. There was a significant difference seen between the lysate and the control group, areas of the experiment need to be improved. The results were inconclusive due to the evidence suggesting that there is an increase in dispersal from S. aureus biofilm when exposed to febrile-range temperatures and components of cell lysate. There were limitations of the procedures and there were other factors which could have been used when considering biofilm dispersal. More needs to be studied and understood around this common bacterium and it’s complex Interkingdom signaling pathways.
Biomedical Science BSc (hons)
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