Project Title

Visualizing the inhibitory power of a novel protein against Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms.

Authors' Affiliations

Salem Wanamaker, Bailey Walker, and Sean Fox. Department of Health Sciences, College of Public Health East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

41

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Sean Fox

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Health Sciences

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Biomedical and Health Sciences

Abstract Text

Microorganisms, particularly bacteria, can associate together to form complex communities called biofilms. These communities are embedded in extracellular polymeric substances and can form on numerous surfaces such as implanted devices (catheters, central lines, joint replacement) in patients. These biofilms cause bloodstream and systemic infections that are difficult to treat and increase the chances of sepsis. Previously, our laboratory has identified a protein secreted by Klebsiella that has inhibitory effects on other members of the Enterobacteriacea bacterial family, namely Citrobacter and Enterobacter. Our current interest lies in the ability of the protein to potentially inhibit this bacterial family from establishing biofilms. In the present study, we wanted to explore: (1) if it is possible to form Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms in 6-well plates and on microscope coverslips; (2) if treating these biofilms with the secreted protein shows inhibition similar to previous planktonic cultures; (3) if these biofilms and inhibition could be visualized by a variety of staining techniques. To determine if it is possible to create Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms, bacteria were inoculated into 6-well plates, grown under static conditions in a 37°C incubator for 24 hours, and stained with crystal violet. Images showed that robust biofilms grew in the 6-well control plates while wells treated with the Klebsiella protein displayed reduced biofilms. To determine if it was possible to see Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms at a microscopic level, microscope slides were placed into 6-well plates, treated as above, and the slides were Gram stained. Images show thick biofilms consisting of Gram negative rods on control slides, while slides treated with the Klebsiella molecule become sparse and poorly grown. To determine if Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms could be fluorescently labeled for visualization, the same process was employed as above, but stained with a LIVE/DEAD cell viability kit where live cells fluoresce green and dead cells fluoresce red. Control slides showed bright thick green fluorescing biofilms while slides treated with the Klebsiella molecule had fewer green fluorescing cells and some red cells. From these observations, it is our conclusion that: (1) it is possible to grow Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms on both 6-well plates and microscope slides; (2) Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms can be visualized both by simple staining and fluorescent staining; (3) Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms are inhibited by Klebsiella secreted proteins. Currently, the identity of this protein is unknown. However, it is possible that this unknown protein could be of future use in the treatment of bacterial biofilms one identified.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Visualizing the inhibitory power of a novel protein against Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms.

Ballroom

Microorganisms, particularly bacteria, can associate together to form complex communities called biofilms. These communities are embedded in extracellular polymeric substances and can form on numerous surfaces such as implanted devices (catheters, central lines, joint replacement) in patients. These biofilms cause bloodstream and systemic infections that are difficult to treat and increase the chances of sepsis. Previously, our laboratory has identified a protein secreted by Klebsiella that has inhibitory effects on other members of the Enterobacteriacea bacterial family, namely Citrobacter and Enterobacter. Our current interest lies in the ability of the protein to potentially inhibit this bacterial family from establishing biofilms. In the present study, we wanted to explore: (1) if it is possible to form Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms in 6-well plates and on microscope coverslips; (2) if treating these biofilms with the secreted protein shows inhibition similar to previous planktonic cultures; (3) if these biofilms and inhibition could be visualized by a variety of staining techniques. To determine if it is possible to create Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms, bacteria were inoculated into 6-well plates, grown under static conditions in a 37°C incubator for 24 hours, and stained with crystal violet. Images showed that robust biofilms grew in the 6-well control plates while wells treated with the Klebsiella protein displayed reduced biofilms. To determine if it was possible to see Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms at a microscopic level, microscope slides were placed into 6-well plates, treated as above, and the slides were Gram stained. Images show thick biofilms consisting of Gram negative rods on control slides, while slides treated with the Klebsiella molecule become sparse and poorly grown. To determine if Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms could be fluorescently labeled for visualization, the same process was employed as above, but stained with a LIVE/DEAD cell viability kit where live cells fluoresce green and dead cells fluoresce red. Control slides showed bright thick green fluorescing biofilms while slides treated with the Klebsiella molecule had fewer green fluorescing cells and some red cells. From these observations, it is our conclusion that: (1) it is possible to grow Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms on both 6-well plates and microscope slides; (2) Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms can be visualized both by simple staining and fluorescent staining; (3) Citrobacter and Enterobacter biofilms are inhibited by Klebsiella secreted proteins. Currently, the identity of this protein is unknown. However, it is possible that this unknown protein could be of future use in the treatment of bacterial biofilms one identified.