Matching Items (17)

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Potential Anti-Biofilm Applications of Tolaasin

Description

As a major cause of nosocomial infections, biofilms such as those caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis pose large concerns in the field of healthcare due to their extreme

As a major cause of nosocomial infections, biofilms such as those caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis pose large concerns in the field of healthcare due to their extreme durability and resistance to treatment. While all biofilms grow similarly in a series of three stages: 1. Adhesion 2. Maturation 3. Dispersal, Staphylococcal species such as S. aureus and S. epidermidis make use of unique growth factors in order to form prolific and durable biofilms. Due to the prevalence and risks associated with bacteria, many antibacterial methods have been created to treat bacterial infections. Although many antibacterial methods exist, there is still a great need for additional and more effective methods to treat and prevent serious bacterial infections associated with biofilm growth, because incidences of bacterial infection and resistance, especially in medical settings, are on the rise. In recent research, the exotoxin tolaasin, produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas tolaasii has briefly been shown to exhibit antibacterial effects. Based on previous research and tolaasin's observed pore forming and detergent properties, it is hypothesized that tolaasin will disrupt and prevent staphylococcal biofilm growth either independently or synergistically with existing antibiotics. If this is confirmed, tolaasin may have major implications within the future of healthcare, particularly in the field of antibiotics. In order to optimally use tolaasin as an anti-biofilm agent, potential anti-biofilm applications would aim to prevent and treat biofilm infections at the most common sites of biofilm growth such as catheters, medical instruments, implanted medical devices, and surgical sites. In addition, under the assumption that tolaasin will be found effective in inhibiting biofilm growth and infection, this thesis proposes future anti-biofilm technologies that could use tolaasin as an anti-biofilm agent in order to prevent biofilms and associated infections. While there are many potential and promising ways that tolaasin could be used as an anti-biofilm agent in the future, there are still possible limitations that would need to be investigated through further research before these applications can come to fruition. Ultimately, if future research successfully determines that tolaasin can be used to make anti-biofilm technologies that are biocompatible, durable, and effective, then technologies using tolaasin as an anti-biofilm agent may more effectively ensure sterility of medical devices and prevent bacterial biofilms and infections, and may eventually save lives.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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The Effects of Material and Surface Properties on the Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Staphylococcal Biofilms

Description

Biofilm derived orthopedic infections are increasingly common after contamination of an open bone fracture or the surgical site pre- and post-orthopedic prosthetic insertion or removal. These infections are usually difficult

Biofilm derived orthopedic infections are increasingly common after contamination of an open bone fracture or the surgical site pre- and post-orthopedic prosthetic insertion or removal. These infections are usually difficult to eradicate due to the resistant nature of biofilms to antimicrobial therapy. Difficulty of treatment of biofilm derived infections is also partly due to the presence of persister cells in the biofilm matrix. Persister cells are tolerant to antimicrobial therapy delivered via the systemic route. It is thus possible for these cells to repopulate their environment once systemic antimicrobial delivery is discontinued. The antimicrobial concentration required to eradicate bacterial biofilms, minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC), can be determined in vitro by exposing biofilms to different regimens of antimicrobial solutions. Previous studies have demonstrated that values of the MBEC vary depending on the material and surface the biofilm grows on. This study investigated the relationship between antimicrobial susceptibility and antimicrobial exposure time, and the effects of surface material type on the antimicrobial susceptibility of staphylococcal biofilms. It was concluded that antimicrobial susceptibility increases with increased antimicrobial exposure time, and that the investigated surface and material properties did not have an effect on the susceptibility of staphylococcal biofilms to antimicrobial therapy. Further investigation is however necessary to confirm these results due to some inconsistent data obtained over the course of the trials.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Effectiveness of Inhibition and Biofilm Disruption on Antibiotic Resistant E. coli

Description

The purpose of this study was to observe the effectiveness of the phenylalanyl arginine β-naphthylamide dihydrochloride inhibitor and Tween 20 when combined with an antibiotic against Escherichia. coli. As antibiotic

The purpose of this study was to observe the effectiveness of the phenylalanyl arginine β-naphthylamide dihydrochloride inhibitor and Tween 20 when combined with an antibiotic against Escherichia. coli. As antibiotic resistance becomes more and more prevalent it is necessary to think outside the box and do more than just increase the dosage of currently prescribed antibiotics. This study attempted to combat two forms of antibiotic resistance. The first is the AcrAB efflux pump which is able to pump antibiotics out of the cell. The second is the biofilms that E. coli can form. By using an inhibitor, the pump should be unable to rid itself of an antibiotic. On the other hand, using Tween allows for biofilm formation to either be disrupted or for the biofilm to be dissolved. By combining these two chemicals with an antibiotic that the efflux pump is known to expel, low concentrations of each chemical should result in an equivalent or greater effect on bacteria compared to any one chemical in higher concentrations. To test this hypothesis a 96 well plate BEC screen test was performed. A range of antibiotics were used at various concentrations and with varying concentrations of both Tween and the inhibitor to find a starting point. Following this, Erythromycin and Ciprofloxacin were picked as the best candidates and the optimum range of the antibiotic, Tween, and inhibitor were established. Finally, all three chemicals were combined to observe the effects they had together as opposed to individually or paired together. From the results of this experiment several conclusions were made. First, the inhibitor did in fact increase the effectiveness of the antibiotic as less antibiotic was needed if the inhibitor was present. Second, Tween showed an ability to prevent recovery in the MBEC reading, showing that it has the ability to disrupt or dissolve biofilms. However, Tween also showed a noticeable decrease in effectiveness in the overall treatment. This negative interaction was unable to be compensated for when using the inhibitor and so the hypothesis was proven false as combining the three chemicals led to a less effective treatment method.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Effect of pH, Acetate, and Buffer Concentration on Anode Biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA Using Advanced Electrochemical Methods

Description

The mechanisms of extracellular respiration in Geobacter sulfurreducens, commonly considered to be a model organism for anode respiration, are yet to be completely understood. The interplay between electron and proton

The mechanisms of extracellular respiration in Geobacter sulfurreducens, commonly considered to be a model organism for anode respiration, are yet to be completely understood. The interplay between electron and proton transport especially could be a key to gaining further insights. One way to investigate the mechanisms of extracellular respiration under varying environmental conditions is by analyzing the electrochemical response of the biofilm with respect to pH, buffer concentrations, and acetate concentrations. I seek to increase the understanding of the electrochemical response of the G. sulfurreducens biofilm through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) techniques in concert with chronoamperometry. I used Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA biofilms in single-chamber electrochemical cells (approximately 100 mL volume) with a small gold working electrode (3.14 mm2). I observed limitations in the initial methods used for media replacement. I tracked changes in the CV data, such as EKA (midpoint potential), as a function of pH and buffer concentration. The media replacement method developed demonstrates success in pH experiments that will be transferrable to other environmental conditions to study electron transport. The experiments revealed that the clarity of data collected is dependent on the quality of the biofilm. A high quality biofilm is characterized by a high current density and normal growth behavior. The general trends seen in these experiments are that as pH increases the potential decreases, and as buffer concentration increases the potential decreases and pH increases. Acetate-free conditions in the reactor were unable to be achieved as characterized by non-zero current densities in the acetate-free experiments.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

Studies of the Prevention of Biofilm Growth: The Effects of Tolaasin on Staphylococcus Species' Biofilm Formation, and the Impact of Last Treatment of Enterococcus Faecalis

Description

Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are among the most common causes of hospital-acquired infections5, 7, 8. Despite the advancements in modern antimicrobials, infections from these organisms can be very difficult

Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are among the most common causes of hospital-acquired infections5, 7, 8. Despite the advancements in modern antimicrobials, infections from these organisms can be very difficult to treat, and equally as difficult to prevent 6,7. These organisms’ abilities to form biofilms are directly related to their abilities to cause infections. In biofilms, the staphylococcal species can survive antibiotics and immune responses much better than planktonic cells7. Tolaasin—a toxin and natural biosurfactant produced by P. tolaasii—has been briefly tested against biofilm formation, and the results suggested that it could have inhibitory effects. In order to further confirm and expand upon this potentially useful data, additional testing was performed to determine the effects of tolaasin on the two organisms. In addition, laser treatment was tested on E. faecalis in order to supplement our current understanding of biofilm behavior, and provide additional data to suggest alternative agents against biofilm growth.
This thesis addresses the following questions: What are the best methods to test the effects of tolaasin, cephalexin and laser on the biofilms of S. aureus and S. epidermidis? Does tolaasin prevent or disrupt biofilm formation in S. aureus and S. epidermidis? Does tolaasin work synergistically with cephalexin to prevent biofilm growth and maturation in S. aureus and S. epidermidis? And, what effects does laser treatment have on E. faecalis biofilms? In order to answer these questions, tolaasin was isolated from P. tolaasii, and biofilms were pre-treated with tolaasin. Trials were performed with tolaasin, cephalexin, or a combination of both. The effectiveness of each treatment was determined by observing the biofilm growth. The protocols were then optimized and trials were repeated. Additionally, E. faecalis biofilms were exposed to laser treatment. Using confocal microscopy, the biofilms were observed and quantitative results were used to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. Overall, the results indicated that tolaasin has little effect on biofilm growth. However, further investigation is necessary to confirm these results due to some inconsistent data obtained over the course of the trials. Variations and improvements to the protocol are necessary to accurately determine tolaasin’s potential role in healthcare. Finally, the results of the laser trials suggest that EDTA in conjunction with laser treatment could be useful in cleaning root canals and eliminating post-procedural biofilms—thereby preventing infections.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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P. aeruginosa Biofilm Inhibition and Dispersion by Peptide and Synbody Treatment

Description

Bacteria with antibiotic resistance are becoming a growing concern as the number of infections they are causing continue to increase. Many potential solutions are being researched in order to combat

Bacteria with antibiotic resistance are becoming a growing concern as the number of infections they are causing continue to increase. Many potential solutions are being researched in order to combat these pathogens. One such microbe is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes acute and chronic human infections. It frequently colonizes the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients and is deadly. For these reasons, P. aeruginosa has been heavily studied in order to determine a solution to antibiotic resistance. One possible solution is the development of synbodies, which have been developed at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Synbodies are constructed from peptides that have antibacterial activity and were determined to have specificity for a target bacterium. These synbodies were tested in this study to determine whether or not some of them are able to inhibit P. aeruginosa growth. P. aeruginosa can also form multicellular communities called biofilms and these are known to cause approximately 65% of all human infections. After conducting minimum inhibitory assays, the efficacy of certain peptides and synbodies against biofilm inhibition was assessed. A recent study has shown that low concentrations of a specific peptide can cause biofilm disruption, where the biofilm structure breaks apart and the cells within it disperse into the supernatant. Taking into account this study and peptide data regarding biofilm inhibition from Dr. Aurélie Crabbé’s lab, screened peptides were tested against biofilm to see if dispersion would occur.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Characterizing the impact of low shear modeled microgravity on population dynamics, biofilm formation and silver susceptibility of microbial consortia isolated from International Space Station potable water

Description

Understanding how microorganisms adapt and respond to the microgravity environment of spaceflight is important for the function and integrity of onboard life support systems, astronaut health and mission success. Microbial

Understanding how microorganisms adapt and respond to the microgravity environment of spaceflight is important for the function and integrity of onboard life support systems, astronaut health and mission success. Microbial contamination of spacecraft Environmental Life Support Systems (ECLSS), including the potable water system, are well documented and have caused major disruption to spaceflight missions. The potable water system on the International Space Station (ISS) uses recycled wastewater purified by multiple processes so it is safe for astronaut consumption and personal hygiene. However, despite stringent antimicrobial treatments, multiple bacterial species and biofilms have been recovered from this potable water system. This finding raises concern for crew health risks, vehicle operations and ECLSS system integrity during exploration missions. These concerns are further heightened given that 1) potential pathogens have been isolated from the ISS potable water system, 2) the immune response of astronauts is blunted during spaceflight, 3) spaceflight induces unexpected alterations in microbial responses, including growth and biofilm formation, antimicrobial resistance, stress responses, and virulence, and 4) different microbial phenotypes are often observed between reductionistic pure cultures as compared to more complex multispecies co-cultures, the latter of which are more representative of natural environmental conditions. To advance the understanding of the impact of microgravity on microbial responses that could negatively impact spacecraft ECLSS systems and crew health, this study characterized a range of phenotypic profiles in both pure and co-cultures of bacterial isolates collected from the ISS potable water system between 2009 and 2014. Microbial responses profiled included population dynamics, resistance to silver, biofilm formation, and in vitro colonization of intestinal epithelial cells. Growth characteristics and antibiotic sensitivities for bacterial strains were evaluated to develop selective and/or differential media that allow for isolation of a pure culture from co-cultures, which was critical for the success of this study. Bacterial co-culture experiments were performed using dynamic Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) bioreactors under spaceflight analogue (Low Shear Modeled Microgravity/LSMMG) and control conditions. These experiments indicated changes in fluid shear have minimal impact on strain recovery. The antimicrobial efficacy of silver on both sessile co-cultures, grown on 316L stainless steel coupons, and planktonic co-cultures showed that silver did not uniformly reduce the recovery of all strains; however, it had a stronger antimicrobial effect on biofilm cultures than planktonic cultures. The impact of silver on the ability of RWV cultured planktonic and biofilm bacterial co-cultures to colonize human intestinal epithelial cells showed that, those strains which were impacted by silver treatment, often increased adherence to the monolayer. Results from these studies provide insight into the dynamics of polymicrobial community interactions, biofilm formation and survival mechanisms of ISS potable water isolates, with potential application for future design of ECLSS systems for sustainable human space exploration.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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From Customized Cellular Adhesion to Synthetic Ecology: Characterizing the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 for Biofuel Production

Description

ABSTRACT

Sustainable global energy production is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Next-generation renewable energy sources include using photosynthetic microbes such as cyanobacteria for efficient production of sustainable

ABSTRACT

Sustainable global energy production is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Next-generation renewable energy sources include using photosynthetic microbes such as cyanobacteria for efficient production of sustainable fuels from sunlight. The cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 (Synechocystis) is a genetically tractable model organism for plant-like photosynthesis that is used to develop microbial biofuel technologies. However, outside of photosynthetic processes, relatively little is known about the biology of microbial phototrophs such as Synechocystis, which impairs their development into market-ready technologies. My research objective was to characterize strategic aspects of Synechocystis biology related to its use in biofuel production; specifically, how the cell surface modulates the interactions between Synechocystis cells and the environment. First, I documented extensive biofouling, or unwanted biofilm formation, in a 4,000-liter roof-top photobioreactor (PBR) used to cultivate Synechocystis, and correlated this cell-binding phenotype with changes in nutrient status by developing a bench-scale assay for axenic phototrophic biofilm formation. Second, I created a library of mutants that lack cell surface structures, and used this biofilm assay to show that mutants lacking the structures pili or S-layer have a non-biofouling phenotype. Third, I analyzed the transcriptomes of cultures showing aggregation, another cell-binding phenotype, and demonstrated that the cells were undergoing stringent response, a type of conserved stress response. Finally, I used contaminant Consortia and statistical modeling to test whether Synechocystis mutants lacking cell surface structures could reduce contaminant growth in mixed cultures. In summary, I have identified genetic and environmental means of manipulating Synechocystis strains for customized adhesion phenotypes, for more economical biomass harvesting and non-biofouling methods. Additionally, I developed a modified biofilm assay and demonstrated its utility in closing a key gap in the field of microbiology related to axenic phototrophic biofilm formation assays. Also, I demonstrated that statistical modeling of contaminant Consortia predicts contaminant growth across diverse species. Collectively, these findings serve as the basis for immediately lowering the cost barrier of Synechocystis biofuels via a more economical biomass-dewatering step, and provide new research tools for improving Synechocystis strains and culture ecology management for improved biofuel production.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Benzene and toluene biodegradation with different dissolved oxygen concentrations

Description

This study reports on benzene and toluene biodegradation under different dissolved oxygen conditions, and the goal of this study is to evaluate and model their removal.

Benzene and toluene were tested

This study reports on benzene and toluene biodegradation under different dissolved oxygen conditions, and the goal of this study is to evaluate and model their removal.

Benzene and toluene were tested for obligate anaerobic degradation in batch reactors with sulfate as the electron acceptor. A group of sulfate-reducing bacteria capable of toluene degradation was enriched after 252 days of incubation. Those cultures, originated from anaerobic digester, were able to degrade toluene coupled to sulfate reduction with benzene coexistence, while they were not able to utilize benzene. Methanogens also were present, although their contribution to toluene biodegradation was not defined.

Aerobic biodegradation of benzene and toluene by Pseudomonas putida F1 occurred, and biomass production lagged behind substrate loss and continued after complete substrate removal. This pattern suggests that biodegradation of intermediates, rather than direct benzene and toluene transformation, caused bacterial growth. Supporting this explanation is that the calculated biomass growth from a two-step model basically fit the experimental biomass results during benzene and toluene degradation with depleted dissolved oxygen.

Catechol was tested for anaerobic biodegradation in batch experiments and in a column study. Sulfate- and nitrate-reducing bacteria enriched from a wastewater treatment plant hardly degraded catechol within 20 days. However, an inoculum from a contaminated site was able to remove 90% of the initial 16.5 mg/L catechol, and Chemical Oxygen Demand was oxidized in parallel. Catechol biodegradation was inhibited when nitrite accumulated, presumably by a toxic catechol-nitrite complex.

The membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) offers the potential for biodegrading benzene in a linked aerobic and anaerobic pathway by controlling the O2 delivery. At an average benzene surface loading of 1.3 g/m2-day and an average hydraulic retention time of 2.2 day, an MBfR supplied with pure O2 successfully achieved 99% benzene removal at steady state. A lower oxygen partial pressure led to decreased benzene removal, and nitrate removal increased, indicating multiple mechanisms, including oxygenation and nitrate reduction, were involved in the system being responsible for benzene removal. Microbial community analysis indicated that Comamonadaceae, a known aerobic benzene-degrader and denitrifier, dominated the biofilm at the end of operation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Thermophilic microbial electrochemical cells

Description

Microbial Electrochemical Cell (MXC) technology harnesses the power stored in wastewater by using anode respiring bacteria (ARB) as a biofilm catalyst to convert the energy stored in waste into hydrogen

Microbial Electrochemical Cell (MXC) technology harnesses the power stored in wastewater by using anode respiring bacteria (ARB) as a biofilm catalyst to convert the energy stored in waste into hydrogen or electricity. ARB, or exoelectrogens, are able to convert the chemical energy stored in wastes into electrical energy by transporting electrons extracellularly and then transferring them to an electrode. If MXC technology is to be feasible for ‘real world’ applications, it is essential that diverse ARB are discovered and their unique physiologies elucidated- ones which are capable of consuming a broad spectrum of wastes from different contaminated water sources.

This dissertation examines the use of Gram-positive thermophilic (60 ◦C) ARB in MXCs since very little is known regarding the behavior of these microorganisms in this setting. Here, we begin with the draft sequence of the Thermincola ferriacetica genome and reveal the presence of 35 multiheme c-type cytochromes. In addition, we employ electrochemical techniques including cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronoamperometry (CA) to gain insight into the presence of multiple pathways for extracellular electron transport (EET) and current production (j) limitations in T. ferriacetica biofilms.

Next, Thermoanaerobacter pseudethanolicus, a fermentative ARB, is investigated for its ability to ferment pentose and hexose sugars prior to using its fermentation products, including acetate and lactate, for current production in an MXC. Using CA, current production is tracked over time with the generation and consumption of fermentation products. Using CV, the midpoint potential (EKA) of the T. pseudethanolicus EET pathway is revealed.

Lastly, a cellulolytic microbial consortium was employed for the purpose ofassessing the feasibility of using thermophilic MXCs for the conversion of solid waste into current production. Here, a highly enriched consortium of bacteria, predominately from the Firmicutes phylum, is capable of generating current from solid cellulosic materials.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015