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Med Microbiol Immunol. 2002 Oct;191(2):101-6. Epub 2002 Jun 29.

Evaluation of different detection methods of biofilm formation in Staphylococcus aureus.

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Institut f├╝r Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Immunologie, Universit├Ątsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, Germany.


The icaADBC gene locus of Staphylococcus aureus and its polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA/PNSG) were recently identified, but biofilm formation has rarely been detected in vitro. In this study we evaluated a tissue culture plate (TCP) assay and a tube test, as well as Congo red agar, using the two basic media trypticase soy broth (TSB) and brain heart infusion (BHI) broth with different sugar supplements for detection of biofilm formation in 128 ica-positive S. aureus isolates. Of the S. aureus strains, 57.1% displayed a biofilm-positive phenotype under optimized conditions in the TCP test. The tube test correlated well with the TCP test for strongly biofilm-producing strains, whereas weak producers were not safely discriminated from biofilm-negative strains. Screening on Congo red agar displayed a strong correlation with the TCP and the tube test for only 3.8%, and is therefore not recommended for investigation of biofilm formation in S. aureus.

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