Investigation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Formation and Quorum Sensing Genes in Piperacillin/Tazobactam and Ciprofloxacin Sub-minimal Inhibitory Concentrations

Erdal B., Yalinay M. , ELMAS Ç. , YAZICI G. N.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.54, no.4, pp.547-558, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.70087
  • Title of Journal : MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI
  • Page Numbers: pp.547-558
  • Keywords: Antimicrobial, biofilm, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, sub-MIC, quorum sensing, ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANCE, VIRULENCE


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a non-fermentative, oxidase-positive, motile gram-negative bacillus widespread in nature. The virulence factors of P.aeruginosa including the ability to grow under minimal growth conditions, the widespread presence in nature, and the ability to form biofilms make P.aeruginosa a highly important bacterium along with its resistance mechanisms against many antibiotics. The ability to form biofilms increases the symptom severity in diseases caused by P.aeruginosa and causes difficulties in the treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of sub-minimal inhibitory concentrations (sub-MIC) of piperacillin/tazobactam (TZP) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) which are used for the treatment of P.aeruginosa infections on biofilm formation and to investigate the relationship between the severity of biofilm formation and Quorum Sensing (QS) genes. The study included 24 P.aeruginosa isolates from the culture collection of Medical Microbiology Laboratory of Gazi University Faculty of Medicine. MIC values of TZP and CIP antibiotics were determined by the microdilution method. The biofilm layers in the antibiotic-free medium and in the sub-MIC (MIC/2, MIC/4 ve MIC/8) concentrations of antibiotics were visualized by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The QS genes (lasl, lasR, rh/I, and MIR) of the 24 isolates with known biofilm characteristics were identified via the amplification of chromosomal DNA by using PCR method. In the study, it was foundthat both antibiotics reduced biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner in sub-MIC concentrations compared to the antibiotic-free condition and that MIC/2 was the concentration, which reduced the biofilm formation most. These results were further confirmed by viewing the SEM images. The QS genes lasl, lasR, and Mil were detected in a total of 19 isolates with moderately strong and strong biofilm formation, the rh/R gene was detected in six of the strong biofilm-forming isolates, in four of the moderately strong biofilm-forming isolates, and in three of the weak biofilm-forming isolates, respectively. The investigation of the effects of sub-MIC concentrations of antimicrobials, used for the treatment of P.aeruginosa infections, on the biofilm formation of P.aeruginosa and the investigation and better understanding of the QS systems associated with biofilm production will allow for finding out new treatment approaches and offer different options in combating infections with high morbidity and mortality.