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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2015 Oct;34(10):2009-16. doi: 10.1007/s10096-015-2445-3. Epub 2015 Jul 15.

Relevance of biofilm formation and virulence of different species of coagulase-negative staphylococci to public health.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
Department of Animal Reproduction, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.


The ability of biofilm formation seems to play an essential role in the virulence of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). The present work aimed to: (a) evaluate the biofilm-forming ability of different strains of CNS field isolates; (b) evaluate their virulence potential through the assessment of the Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cytotoxicity assay; (c) determine the frequency of biofilm-associated genes among these CNS isolates. Biofilm markers associated with biofilm formation and MDCK cells cytotoxicity were compared to find possible associations with pathogenicity. CNS isolates (n = 94) belonging to 11 different species were tested for slime production using the tube test (TA) and the Congo red agar plate test (CRA), while the presence of icaA and icaD genes were evaluated by d-PCR. Two points were addressed for the first time: (1) the specific relationship between slime phenotype and icaD gene expression; (2) the specific relationship between slime phenotype, icaAD genes, and MDCK cytotoxicity. The proportion of biofilm-positive/icaD-positive versus biofilm-positive/icaD-negative strains was 9:0 and 9:0 (81.8%) by the TA and CRA, which clearly indicates that icaD was a more reliable gene to be accounted for in the biofilm formation. MDCK recorded a higher proportion than that recorded by the CRA and TA results (MDCK-positive/icaD-positive versus MDCK-positive/icaD-negative 10:0, 90.9%). Evaluation of the ica operon, CRA plate test, TA, and MDCK can contribute to the high clinical impact in the management of antibiotic therapy, in infections associated with devices in veterinary medicine, the dairy industry, and food processing.

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