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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;93(2):345-52.

Antagonistic interactions amongst bacteriocin-producing enteric bacteria in dual species biofilms.

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1
Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

The objective of this study was to investigate the antagonistic interactions between bacteriocin-producing enteric bacteria in dual species biofilms and the interspecies interactions correlated with sensitivity to biocides.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

When compared with their single species counterparts, the dual species biofilms formed by bacteriocin-producing strains exhibited a decrease in biofilm size and an increase in sensitivity to the antimicrobial agents hypochlorite, triclosan and benzalkonium chloride. The five dual species biofilms studied all resulted in biofilms containing a mixture of the two strains. This was attributed to the spatial distribution of cells within the biofilm, with each strain forming its own microcolonies. The production of a bacteriocin also gave a strain a competitive advantage when interacting with a bacteriocin-sensitive strain within a biofilm, both in gaining a foothold in a new environment and in preventing the colonization of a potential competitor into a pre-established biofilm.

CONCLUSIONS:

It was concluded that bacteriocins might be used specifically for interacting with competing strains within a biofilm, as opposed to a planktonic, environment.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Unlike planktonically grown bacteriocin-producing populations, where one strain will always be out-competed, bacteriocin-producing and bacteriocin-sensitive strains can coexist in biofilm communities, clearly demonstrating major differences between biofilm and planktonic competition. This paper highlights the importance of bacteriocin production in the development of biofilm communities.

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