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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004 Jul;48(7):2633-6.

Enzymatic detachment of Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms.

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  • 1Medical Science Building, Room C-636, 185 S. Orange Avenue, Newark NJ 07103, USA.


The gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most common cause of infections associated with catheters and other indwelling medical devices. S. epidermidis produces an extracellular slime that enables it to form adherent biofilms on plastic surfaces. We found that a biofilm-releasing enzyme produced by the gram-negative periodontal pathogen Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans rapidly and efficiently removed S. epidermidis biofilms from plastic surfaces. The enzyme worked by releasing extracellular slime from S. epidermidis cells. Precoating surfaces with the enzyme prevented S. epidermidis biofilm formation. Our findings demonstrate that biofilm-releasing enzymes can exhibit broad-spectrum activity and that these enzymes may be useful as antibiofilm agents.

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