Polyelectrolyte-mediated increase of biofilm mass formation

BMC Microbiol. 2015 Jun 6;15:117. doi: 10.1186/s12866-015-0457-x.


Background: Biofilm formation is associated with various aspects of bacterial and fungal infection. This study was designed to assess the impact of diverse natural polyelectrolytes, such as DNA, F-actin, neurofilaments (NFs), vimentin and purified Pf1 bacteriophage on biofilm formation and swarming motility of select pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa associated with lung infections in CF patients.

Results: The bacteriophage Pf1 (1 mg/ml) significantly increased biofilm mass produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa P14, Escherichia coli RS218 and Bacillus subtilis ATCC6051. DNA, F-actin, NFs and Pf1 also increased biofilm mass of the fungal C. albicans 1409 strain. Addition of F-actin, DNA or Pf1 bacteriophage to 0.5% agar plates increased swarming motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Xen5.

Conclusions: The presence of polyelectrolytes at infection sites is likely to promote biofilm growth and bacterial swarming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Bacteriophage Pf1 / physiology*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Cell Line
  • DNA / pharmacology
  • Electrolytes / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Vimentin / pharmacology


  • Actins
  • Electrolytes
  • Polymers
  • Vimentin
  • DNA