Development of a mixed-species biofilm model and its virulence implications in device related infections

Naing T. Thet, Laura Wallace, Anne Wibaux, Nick Boote, A. Toby A. Jenkins

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14 Citations (SciVal)
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It is becoming increasingly accepted that to understand and model the bacterial colonization and infection of abiotic surfaces requires the use of a biofilm model. There are many bacterial colonizations by at least two primary species, however this is difficult to model in vitro. This study reports the development of a simple mixed-species biofilm model using strains of two clinically significant bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa grown on nanoporous polycarbonate membranes on nutrient agar support. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the complex biofilm characteristics of two bacteria blending in extensive extracellular matrices. Using a prototype wound dressing which detects cytolytic virulence factors, the virulence secretion of 30 single and 40 mixed-species biofilms was tested. P. aeruginosa was seen to out-compete S. aureus, resulting in a biofilm with P. aeruginosa dominating. In situ growth of mixed-species biofilm under prototype dressings showed a real-time correlation between the viable biofilm population and their associated virulence factors, as seen by dressing fluorescent assay. This paper aims to provide a protocol for scientists working in the field of device related infection to create mixed-species biofilms and demonstrate that such biofilms are persistently more virulent in real infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
Early online date8 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • biofilm
  • lipid vesicles
  • wound dressing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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