Jan Masak


3 Effect of Non-Thermal Plasma, Chitosan and Polymyxin B on Quorum Sensing Activity and Biofilm of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Authors: Alena Cejkova, Martina Paldrychova, Jana Michailidu, Olga Matatkova, Jan Masak


Increasing the resistance of pathogenic microorganisms to many antibiotics is a serious threat to the treatment of infectious diseases and cleaning medical instruments. It should be added that the resistance of microbial populations growing in biofilms is often up to 1000 times higher compared to planktonic cells. Biofilm formation in a number of microorganisms is largely influenced by the quorum sensing regulatory mechanism. Finding external factors such as natural substances or physical processes that can interfere effectively with quorum sensing signal molecules should reduce the ability of the cell population to form biofilm and increase the effectiveness of antibiotics. The present work is devoted to the effect of chitosan as a representative of natural substances with anti-biofilm activity and non- thermal plasma (NTP) alone or in combination with polymyxin B on biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Particular attention was paid to the influence of these agents on the level of quorum sensing signal molecules (acyl-homoserine lactones) during planktonic and biofilm cultivations. Opportunistic pathogenic strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (DBM 3081, DBM 3777, ATCC 10145, ATCC 15442) were used as model microorganisms. Cultivations of planktonic and biofilm populations in 96-well microtiter plates on horizontal shaker were used for determination of antibiotic and anti-biofilm activity of chitosan and polymyxin B. Biofilm-growing cells on titanium alloy, which is used for preparation of joint replacement, were exposed to non-thermal plasma generated by cometary corona with a metallic grid for 15 and 30 minutes. Cultivation followed in fresh LB medium with or without chitosan or polymyxin B for next 24 h. Biofilms were quantified by crystal violet assay. Metabolic activity of the cells in biofilm was measured using MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) colorimetric test based on the reduction of MTT into formazan by the dehydrogenase system of living cells. Activity of N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) compounds involved in the regulation of biofilm formation was determined using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain harboring a traG::lacZ/traR reporter gene responsive to AHLs. The experiments showed that both chitosan and non-thermal plasma reduce the AHLs level and thus the biofilm formation and stability. The effectiveness of both agents was somewhat strain dependent. During the eradication of P. aeruginosa DBM 3081 biofilm on titanium alloy induced by chitosan (45 mg / l) there was an 80% decrease in AHLs. Applying chitosan or NTP on the P. aeruginosa DBM 3777 biofilm did not cause a significant decrease in AHLs, however, in combination with both (chitosan 55 mg / l and NTP 30 min), resulted in a 70% decrease in AHLs. Combined application of NTP and polymyxin B allowed reduce antibiotic concentration to achieve the same level of AHLs inhibition in P. aeruginosa ATCC 15442. The results shown that non-thermal plasma and chitosan have considerable potential for the eradication of highly resistant P. aeruginosa biofilms, for example on medical instruments or joint implants.

Keywords: chitosan, non-thermal plasma, anti-biofilm activity, opportunistic pathogens

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2 Antimicrobial and Anti-Biofilm Activity of Non-Thermal Plasma

Authors: Jan Masak, Eva Kvasnickova, Vladimir Scholtz, Olga Matatkova, Marketa Valkova, Alena Cejkova


Microbial colonization of medical instruments, catheters, implants, etc. is a serious problem in the spread of nosocomial infections. Biofilms exhibit enormous resistance to environment. The resistance of biofilm populations to antibiotic or biocides often increases by two to three orders of magnitude in comparison with suspension populations. Subjects of interests are substances or physical processes that primarily cause the destruction of biofilm, while the released cells can be killed by existing antibiotics. In addition, agents that do not have a strong lethal effect do not cause such a significant selection pressure to further enhance resistance. Non-thermal plasma (NTP) is defined as neutral, ionized gas composed of particles (photons, electrons, positive and negative ions, free radicals and excited or non-excited molecules) which are in permanent interaction. In this work, the effect of NTP generated by the cometary corona with a metallic grid on the formation and stability of biofilm and metabolic activity of cells in biofilm was studied. NTP was applied on biofilm populations of Staphylococcus epidermidis DBM 3179, Pseudomonas aeruginosa DBM 3081, DBM 3777, ATCC 15442 and ATCC 10145, Escherichia coli DBM 3125 and Candida albicans DBM 2164 grown on solid media on Petri dishes and on the titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) surface used for the production joint replacements. Erythromycin (for S. epidermidis), polymyxin B (for E. coli and P. aeruginosa), amphotericin B (for C. albicans) and ceftazidime (for P. aeruginosa) were used to study the combined effect of NTP and antibiotics. Biofilms were quantified by crystal violet assay. Metabolic activity of the cells in biofilm was measured using MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) colorimetric test based on the reduction of MTT into formazan by the dehydrogenase system of living cells. Fluorescence microscopy was applied to visualize the biofilm on the surface of the titanium alloy; SYTO 13 was used as a fluorescence probe to stain cells in the biofilm. It has been shown that biofilm populations of all studied microorganisms are very sensitive to the type of used NTP. The inhibition zone of biofilm recorded after 60 minutes exposure to NTP exceeded 20 cm², except P. aeruginosa DBM 3777 and ATCC 10145, where it was about 9 cm². Also metabolic activity of cells in biofilm differed for individual microbial strains. High sensitivity to NTP was observed in S. epidermidis, in which the metabolic activity of biofilm decreased after 30 minutes of NTP exposure to 15% and after 60 minutes to 1%. Conversely, the metabolic activity of cells of C. albicans decreased to 53% after 30 minutes of NTP exposure. Nevertheless, this result can be considered very good. Suitable combinations of exposure time of NTP and the concentration of antibiotic achieved in most cases a remarkable synergic effect on the reduction of the metabolic activity of the cells of the biofilm. For example, in the case of P. aeruginosa DBM 3777, a combination of 30 minutes of NTP with 1 mg/l of ceftazidime resulted in a decrease metabolic activity below 4%.

Keywords: Antibiotic, non-thermal plasma, anti-biofilm activity, opportunistic pathogens

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1 Polyphenols from Winery Wastes as Potential Source of Antioxidants

Authors: Lucia Gharwalova, Irena Kolouchova, Jan Masak


A large amount of waste products is generated throughout the whole winemaking process as well as during work in the vineyard. This waste is as a source of phenolic compounds, such as resveratrol and polydatin, which possess a strong antioxidant capacity. Changes in the amounts of phenols were compared depending on the growing conditions and wine variety. Wastes (grape stems, marc and shoots) from two wineries in the Czech Republic were analyzed. Phenols from these samples were extracted by 40% ethanol. The amount of polyphenols in these extracts was determined by HPLC and their antioxidant capacity by DPPH. We compared changes in the amounts of phenols depending on the type of waste and the wine variety. The most significant source of stilbenoids was waste from pruning (shoots). These results show that winery waste could be further reused thanks to their antioxidant content.

Keywords: Antioxidants, polyphenols, Resveratrol, winery waste

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