A requirement for flow to enable the development of Ureaplasma parvum biofilms in vitro

Richard Rowlands, Kasper Kragh, S Sahu, Sarah Maddocks, Albert Bolhuis, Owen Spiller, Michael Beeton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Aims: To use a flow‐based method to establish, quantify and visualise biofilms of Ureaplasma parvum.

Methods and Results: Absorbance readings of a U. parvum HPA5 culture were taken at 550 nm every three hours for 30 hours in order to establish a growth curve, with viability determined by the number of colour changing units (CCU). Biofilms were established using the DTU flow‐cell with a flow rate of 0.01 ml/minute and compared to the static control. Titres of bacteria were determined by CCU and biofilm biomass was quantified by Syto9 staining and COMSTAT analysis. High‐resolution images were obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Flow resulted in significantly more biofilm and higher cell titre (0.599 µm^3/µm^2±0.152 and 4 x108 CCU/ml, respectively) compared with static conditions (0.008 µm^3/µm^2±0.010 and no recoverable cells, respectively). SEM revealed pleomorphic cells, with signs of budding and possible membrane vesicle formation.

Conclusions: Flow is an essential requirement for the establishment of U. parvum biofilms.

Significance and Impact of Study: This is the first quantification of biofilm biomass formed by U. parvum. It is now possible to establish viable biofilms of U. parvum which will allow for future testing of antimicrobial agents and understanding of virulence‐associated with adhesion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021


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