Tools for studying growth patterns and chemical dynamics of aggregated Pseudomonas aeruginosa exposed to different electron acceptors in an alginate bead model

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In chronic infections, bacterial pathogens typically grow as small dense cell aggregates embedded in a matrix consisting of, e.g., wound bed sludge or lung mucus. Such biofilm growth mode exhibits extreme tolerance towards antibiotics and the immune defence system. The bacterial aggregates are exposed to physiological heterogeneity and O2 limitation due to steep chemical gradients through the matrix, which is are hypothesised to contribute to antibiotic tolerance. Using a novel combination of microsensor and bioimaging analysis, we investigated growth patterns and chemical dynamics of the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in an alginate bead model, which mimics growth in chronic infections better than traditional biofilm experiments in flow chambers. Growth patterns were strongly affected by electron acceptor availability and the presence of chemical gradients, where the combined presence of O2 and nitrate yielded highest bacterial growth by combined aerobic respiration and denitrification.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalNPJ biofilms and microbiomes
Volume4
Number of pages11
ISSN2055-5008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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