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Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Nov 11;18(5):549-59. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.013.

Filamentous Bacteriophage Promote Biofilm Assembly and Function.

Author information

1
Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address: psecor@uw.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Stanford Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
4
Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
5
Stanford Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
6
Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.
7
California Institute for Medical Research, San Jose, CA 95128, USA.
8
Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
9
Department of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

Abstract

Biofilms-communities of bacteria encased in a polymer-rich matrix-confer bacteria with the ability to persist in pathologic host contexts, such as the cystic fibrosis (CF) airways. How bacteria assemble polymers into biofilms is largely unknown. We find that the extracellular matrix produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa self-assembles into a liquid crystal through entropic interactions between polymers and filamentous Pf bacteriophages, which are long, negatively charged filaments. This liquid crystalline structure enhances biofilm function by increasing adhesion and tolerance to desiccation and antibiotics. Pf bacteriophages are prevalent among P. aeruginosa clinical isolates and were detected in CF sputum. The addition of Pf bacteriophage to sputum polymers or serum was sufficient to drive their rapid assembly into viscous liquid crystals. Fd, a related bacteriophage of Escherichia coli, has similar biofilm-building capabilities. Targeting filamentous bacteriophage or the liquid crystalline organization of the biofilm matrix may represent antibacterial strategies.

PMID:
26567508
PMCID:
PMC4653043
DOI:
10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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