Disruption of the extracellular polymeric network of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by alginate lyase enhances pathogen eradication by antibiotics

J Cyst Fibros. 2020 May 30;S1569-1993(20)30119-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2020.04.006. Online ahead of print.


Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa forms antibiotic-resistant biofilms that are responsible for the treatment failure or relapses of the bacterial infections in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The alginate lyases that target extracellular polysaccharide alginate of P. aeruginosa biofilms are promising therapeutic candidates for treatment of P. aeruginosa biofilm infections.

Methods: Immunofluorescent staining and thin layer chromatography were used to demonstrate the alginolytic activity of the alginate lyase enzyme (AlyP1400) purified from a marine Pseudoalteromonas bacterium. Anti-biofilm activities of AlyP1400 were tested alone or in combination with antibiotics on the biofilms of a mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate CF27 that were cultivated in 96-well plates and a flow cell.

Results: We showed that AlyP1400 facilitated antibiotic activities to eliminate CF27 biofilms. The combination of AlyP1400 with antibiotics reduced the biofilm biomass and boosted bactericidal activity of antibiotics. Importantly, we demonstrated that the enzymatic activity of AlyP1400 was required for its biofilm disruption activity and its synergy with antibiotics to eradicate biofilm cells.

Conclusion: This work shed new light on the potential mechanisms of the therapeutic activity for the combinational use of alginate lyase and antibiotics to treat P. aeruginosa infections in CF lungs or other P. aeruginosa biofilm-related infections.

Keywords: Alginate lyase; Antibiotics; Biofilm; Pseudomonas aeruginosa.