Association between Biofilm-Production and Antibiotic Resistance in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC): An In Vitro Study

Diseases. 2020 Jun 7;8(2):17. doi: 10.3390/diseases8020017.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common infections requiring medical attention worldwide. The production of biofilms is an important step in UTIs, not only from a mechanistic point of view, but this may also confer additional resistance, distinct from other aspects of multidrug resistance (MDR). A total of two hundred and fifty (n = 250) Escherichia coli isolates, originating from clean-catch urine samples, were included in this study. The isolates were classified into five groups: wild-type, ciprofloxacin-resistant, fosfomycin-resistant, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole-resistant and extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing strains. The bacterial specimens were cultured using eosine methylene blue agar and the colony morphology of isolates were recorded. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method and E-tests. Biofilm-formation of the isolates was carried out with the crystal violet tube-adherence method. n = 76 isolates (30.4%) produced large colonies (>3 mm), mucoid variant colonies were produced in n = 135 cases (54.0%), and n = 119 (47.6%) were positive for biofilm formation. The agreement (i.e., predictive value) of mucoid variant colonies in regard to biofilm production in the tube-adherence assay was 0.881 overall. Significant variation was seen in the case of the group of ESBL-producers in the ratio of biofilm-producing isolates. The relationship between biofilm-production and other resistance determinants has been extensively studied. However, no definite conclusion can be reached from the currently available data.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; antibiotic; biofilm; colony morphology; crystal violet; resistance; urinary tract infections; uropathogen.