1887

Abstract

is an opportunistic pathogen important in hospital-acquired infections, which are complicated by the rise of drug-resistant strains and the capacity of cells to adhere to surfaces and form biofilms. In this work, we carried out an analysis of the genes in the operon, previously implicated in biofilm formation. The results indicated that in addition to the previously reported effect on type 3 fimbriae expression, this operon also affected biofilm formation due to changes in cellulose as part of the extracellular matrix. Deletion of resulted in enhanced biofilm formation and an altered colony phenotype indicative of cellulose overproduction when grown on solid indicator media. Extraction of polysaccharides and treatment with cellulase were consistent with the presence of cellulose in biofilms. The enhanced cellulose production did not, however, correlate with virulence as assessed using a assay. In addition, cells bearing mutations in genes of the operon varied with respect to the WT control in terms of susceptibility to the antibiotics amikacin, ciprofloxacin, imipenem and meropenem. These results indicated that the operon is implicated in the production of exopolysaccharides that alter cell surface characteristics and the capacity to form biofilms – a phenotype that does not necessarily correlate with properties related with survival, such as resistance to antibiotics.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Colciencias (Award 545-2011)
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2014-12-01
2021-08-01
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