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Curr Microbiol. 2015 May;70(5):698-703. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0770-x. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus isolates from skin and soft tissue infections.

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Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden,


Many diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus are associated with biofilm formation. However, the ability of S. aureus isolates from skin and soft tissue infections to form biofilms has not yet been investigated. We tested 160 isolates from patients with various skin infections for biofilm-forming capacity in different growth media. All the isolates formed biofilms, the extent of which depended on the type of growth medium. The thickest biofilms were formed when both plasma and glucose were present in the broth; in this case, S. aureus incorporated host fibrin into the biofilm's matrix. There were no differences in the biofilm formation between isolates from different types of skin infections, except for a particularly good biofilm formation by isolates from diabetic wounds and a weaker biofilm formation by isolates from impetigo. In conclusion, biofilm formation is a universal behavior of S. aureus isolates from skin infections. In some cases, such as in diabetic wounds, a particularly strong biofilm formation most likely contributes to the chronic and recurrent character of the infection. Additionally, as S. aureus apparently uses host fibrin as part of the biofilm structure, we suggest that plasma should be included more frequently in in vitro biofilm studies.

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