New ecological trends and changes in consumer behavior are known to favor biofilm formation in household appliances, increasing the need for new antimicrobial materials and surfaces. Their development requires laboratory-cultivated biofilms, or biofilm model systems (BMS), which allow for accelerated growth and offer better understanding of the underlying formation mechanisms. Here, we identified bacterial strains in wildtype biofilms from a variety of materials from domestic appliances using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI-TOF-MS). Staphylococci and pseudomonads were identified by MALDI-TOF-MS as the main genera in the habitats and were analyzed for biofilm formation using various in vitro methods. Standard quantitative biofilm assays were combined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to characterize biofilm formation. While Pseudomonas putida, a published lead germ, was not identified in any of the collected samples, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was found to be the most dominant biofilm producer. Water-born Pseudomonads were dominantly found in compartments with water contact only, such as in detergent compartment and detergent enemata. Furthermore, materials in contact with the washing load are predominantly colonized with bacteria from the human.
Keywords: MALDI-TOF-MS; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; biofilm; domestic appliances; scanning electron microscopy.