Sunday, July 29, 2007

The role of proanthocyanidins in the primary attachment of bacteria to surfaces: Bacillus cereus model

Anthony R. Jones and Sidney A. Crow. Biology, Georgia State University, 24 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, GA 30303

The development of a proanthocyanidin treatment, along with the understanding of its mechanism of action, would provide an alternative method of preventing attachment to and colonization of surfaces by microorganisms, as well as potentially disrupting preexisting biofilms. The purpose of this research is to examine the efficacy of a cranberry proanthocyanidin in the prevention of the primary attachment of microorganisms to, and/or the disruption of an established biofilm on, an abiotic surface.  This technology could be employed in food processing plants where a premium is placed on maintaining a sanitized work environment to prevent product contamination.  A biofilm assay showed that a surface treated with proanthocyanidins actually promoted rather than prevented the attachment of Bacillus cereus.  This was further made evident by the fact that the surface hydrophobicities of B. cereus cells grown in media supplemented with proanthocyanidins were greater than those grown in its absence.  However, proanthocyanidins have displayed that they can minimize swarming motility when present in 0.5% (w/v) agar at a concentration of 200 µg/ml.  These results suggest that proanthocyanidins may be inducing endospore formation in Bacillus cereus, thus leading to increased attachment, and hydrophobicity values while limiting motility.