Investigation of Gelatinase Gene Expression and Growth of Enterococcus faecalis Clinical Isolates in Biofilm Models

Turk J Pharm Sci. 2019 Sep;16(3):356-361. doi: 10.4274/tjps.galenos.2018.69783. Epub 2019 Jul 10.


Objectives: Enterococcus faecalis is the major reason for biofilm-related infections and it also interacts with Staphylococcus aureus in biofilms. Gelatinase (gelE) enzyme is an important virulence factor of E. faecalis for biofilm formation. This study aimed to compare the biofilm producing E. faecalis isolates from urine and urinary catheters. The influence of S. aureus on the growth of E. faecalis biofilm cells was also investigated in a dual biofilm model in vitro. Another aim was to evaluate E. faecalis gelE gene expression during biofilm formation.

Materials and methods: Firstly, crystal violet staining was used to measure the total biofilm biomass of the isolates. Secondly, plate counting was performed to determine the biofilm formation ability of E. faecalis isolates and the effect of S. aureus on E. faecalis biofilm formation. Finally, the gelE expression profile of the isolates was assessed by quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction.

Results: According to crystal violet staining and plate counting, all E. faecalis isolates were biofilm producers and the number of E. faecalis sessile cells increased in the presence of S. aureus. Among the 21 E. faecalis isolates, ten expressed high levels of the gelE gene, while eight of them had low expression profiles (p<0.05).

Conclusion: When they grow together, S. aureus may give some advantages to E. faecalis such as increasing sessile cell growth. The expression of the gelE gene was not affected by E. faecalis biofilm formation of the isolates collected from the patients with urinary tract infections.

Keywords: Dual biofilm; E. faecalis; S. aureus; gelatinase; quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.