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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2018 Jul 2;84(14). pii: e00391-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00391-18. Print 2018 Jul 15.

Helicobacter pylori Biofilm Formation Is Differentially Affected by Common Culture Conditions, and Proteins Play a Central Role in the Biofilm Matrix.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
2
Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
3
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA douglas.merrell@usuhs.edu.

Abstract

The concept of Helicobacter pylori biofilm formation is relatively new. To help provide a foundation for future biofilm studies, we characterized the biofilm formation ability of a common H. pylori lab strain, G27. The goal of this study was to evaluate biofilm formation by G27 in response to common culture conditions and to explore the biofilm matrix. Our results indicate that while various types of growth media did not dramatically affect biofilm formation, surface selection had a significant effect on the final biofilm mass. Furthermore, enzymatic assays and confocal microscopy revealed that proteins appear to be the primary structural component of the H. pylori extracellular matrix; extracellular DNA (eDNA) and polysaccharides were also present but appear to play a secondary role. Finally, we found that two well-characterized antibiofilm cationic peptides differentially affected early and late-stage biofilms. Together these results provide interesting avenues for future investigations that will seek to understand H. pylori biofilm formation.IMPORTANCE The study of H. pylori biofilm formation is still in its infancy. As such, there is great variability in how biofilm assays are performed across labs. While several groups have begun to investigate factors that influence H. pylori biofilm formation, it is not yet understood how H. pylori biofilm formation may vary based on commonly used conditions. These inconsistencies lead to difficulties in interpretation and comparison between studies. Here, we set out to characterize biofilm formation by a commonly available lab strain, G27. Our findings provide novel insight into optimal biofilm conditions, the biofilm matrix, and possible mechanisms to block or disrupt biofilm formation.

KEYWORDS:

Helicobacter pylori; antimicrobial peptides; biofilms

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