Alternative sigma factor B (σB) and catalase enzyme contribute to Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm’s tolerance against physico-chemical disinfection
Charles Ochieng’ Olwal, Paul Oyieng’ Ang’ienda & Daniel Otieno Ochiel
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Staphylococcus epidermidis is the predominant cause of recalcitrant biofilm-associated infections, which are often highly resistant to antibiotics. Thus, the use of physico-chemical agents for disinfection offers a more effective approach to the control of S. epidermidis biofilm infections. However, the underlying tolerance mechanisms employed by S. epidermidis biofilm against these physico-chemical disinfectants remain largely unknown. The expression of a σB-dependent gene, alkaline shock protein 23 (asp23) and catalase activity by S. epidermidis biofilm and planktonic cells exposed to heat (50 °C), 0.8 M sodium chloride (NaCl), 5 mM sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) or 50 μM hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for 60 minutes were compared. Significantly higher asp23 expression levels were observed in biofilms exposed to 50 °C, 5 mM NaOCl or 50 μM H2O2 compared to the corresponding planktonic cells (p < 0.05). Conversely, asp23 expression levels in biofilm and planktonic cells exposed to 0.8 M NaCl were not significantly different (p > 0.05). Further, biofilms exposed to 50 °C, 0.8 M NaCl, 5 mM NaOCl or 50 μM H2O2 exhibited significantly higher catalase activity than the planktonic cells (p < 0.05). These results suggest that activities of σB and catalase may be involved in the tolerance of S. epidermidis biofilm against physico-chemical disinfection.
- Department of Zoology