Jun 13, 2019

Pseudomonas aeruginosa increases the sensitivity of biofilm-grown Staphylococcus aureus to membrane-targeting antiseptics and antibiotics

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Giulia OraziGeorge O'Toole


Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus often cause chronic, recalcitrant infections in large part due to their ability to form biofilms. The biofilm mode of growth enables these organisms to withstand antibacterial insults that would effectively eliminate their planktonic counterparts. We found that P. aeruginosa supernatant increased the sensitivity of S. aureus biofilms to multiple antimicrobial compounds, including fluoroquinolones and membrane-targeting antibacterial agents, including the antiseptic chloroxylenol. Treatment of S. aureus with the antiseptic chloroxylenol alone did not decrease biofilm cell viability; however, the combination of chloroxylenol and P. aeruginosa supernatant led to a 4-log reduction in S. aureus biofilm viability compared to exposure to chloroxylenol alone. We found that the P. aeruginosa-produced small molecule 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO) is responsible for the observed heightened sensitivity of S. aureus to chloroxylenol. Similarly, HQNO increased the susceptibility of S. aureus biofilms to other compounds, including both traditional and non-traditional antibiotics, which permeabilize bacterial membranes. Genetic and phenotypic studies support a model whereby HQNO ca...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Staphylococcus aureus
Compound (Substance)
Antiseptic [EPC]
Biofilm Formation
Anti-Bacterial Agents

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