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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Jun;67(6):2531-7.

Analysis of bacterial detachment from substratum surfaces by the passage of air-liquid interfaces.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Groningen, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


A theoretical analysis of the detachment of bacteria adhering to substratum surfaces upon the passage of an air-liquid interface is given, together with experimental results for bacterial detachment in the absence and presence of a conditioning film on different substratum surfaces. Bacteria (Streptococcus sobrinus HG1025, Streptococcus oralis J22, Actinomyces naeslundii T14V-J1, Bacteroides fragilis 793E, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa 974K) were first allowed to adhere to hydrophilic glass and hydrophobic dimethyldichlorosilane (DDS)-coated glass in a parallel-plate flow chamber until a density of 4 x 10(6) cells cm(-2) was reached. For S. sobrinus HG1025, S. oralis J22, and A. naeslundii T14V-J1, the conditioning film consisted of adsorbed salivary components, while for B. fragilis 793E and P. aeruginosa 974K, the film consisted of adsorbed human plasma components. Subsequently, air bubbles were passed through the flow chamber and the bacterial detachment percentages were measured. For some experimental conditions, like with P. aeruginosa 974K adhering to DDS-coated glass and an air bubble moving at high velocity (i.e., 13.6 mm s(-1)), no bacteria detached upon passage of an air-liquid interface, while for others, detachment percentages between 80 and 90% were observed. The detachment percentage increased when the velocity of the passing air bubble decreased, regardless of the bacterial strain and substratum surface hydrophobicity involved. However, the variation in percentages of detachment by a passing air bubble depended greatly upon the strain and substratum surface involved. At low air bubble velocities the hydrophobicity of the substratum had no influence on the detachment, but at high air bubble velocities all bacterial strains were more efficiently detached from hydrophilic glass substrata. Furthermore, the presence of a conditioning film could either inhibit or stimulate detachment. The shape of the bacterial cell played a major role in detachment at high air bubble velocities, and spherical strains (i.e., streptococci) detached more efficiently than rod-shaped organisms. The present results demonstrate that methodologies to study bacterial adhesion which include contact with a moving air-liquid interface (i.e., rinsing and dipping) yield detachment of an unpredictable number of adhering microorganisms. Hence, results of studies based on such methodologies should be referred as "bacterial retention" rather than "bacterial adhesion".

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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