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Res Microbiol. 2009 Mar;160(2):144-51. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2008.12.003. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

Use of quorum sensing inhibitors to interfere with biofilm formation and development in Burkholderia multivorans and Burkholderia cenocepacia.

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Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


Burkholderia cepacia complex strains are opportunistic pathogens causing life-threatening infections in cystic fibrosis patients. B. cepacia complex strains are resistant to many antimicrobial agents and commonly produce biofilms in vitro and in vivo. This contributes to their virulence and makes Burkholderia infections difficult to treat. Recently, the quorum sensing (QS) system of Burkholderia spp. has been found to affect their biofilm-forming ability, making it an attractive target for antimicrobial therapy. However, detailed information about the anti-biofilm effect of these compounds is still lacking. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-biofilm effect of several known QS inhibitors. The effect on Burkholderia spp. biofilm formation was examined using crystal violet, resazurin and SYTO9 staining, confocal laser scanning microscopy as well as plating. When used at subinhibitory concentrations, several compounds interfered with biofilm formation by Burkholderia spp. Our results suggest that the QS inhibitors affect later stages of biofilm formation and detachment.

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