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Title: Altering the interfacial rheology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus with N-acetyl cysteine and cysteamine
Introduction

Chronic lung infection due to bacterial biofilms is one of the leading causes of mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Among many species colonizing the lung airways,Pseudomonas aeruginosaandStaphylococcus aureusare two virulent pathogens involved in mechanically robust biofilms that are difficult to eradicate using airway clearance techniques like lung lavage. To remove such biological materials, glycoside hydrolase-based compounds are commonly employed for targeting and breaking down the biofilm matrix, and subsequently increasing cell susceptibility to antibiotics.

Materials and methods

In this study, we evaluate the effects of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and Cysteamine (CYST) in disrupting interfacial bacterial films, targeting different components of the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). We characterize the mechanics and structural integrity of the interfacial bacterial films using pendant drop elastometry and scanning electron microscopy.

Results and discussion

Our results show that the film architectures are compromised by treatment with disrupting agents for 6 h, which reduces film elasticity significantly. These effects are profound in the wild type and mucoidP. aeruginosa, compared toS. aureus. We further assess the effects of competition and cooperation betweenS. aureusandP. aeruginosaon the mechanics of composite interfacial films. Films ofS. aureusand wild-typeP. aeruginosacocultures lose mechanical strength while those ofS. aureusand mucoidP. aeruginosaexhibit improved storage modulus. Treatment with NAC and CYST reduces the elastic property of both composite films, owing to the drugs’ ability to disintegrate their EPS matrix. Overall, our results provide new insights into methods for assessing the efficacy of mucolytic agents against interfacial biofilms relevant to cystic fibrosis infection.

 
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Award ID(s):
2144253
NSF-PAR ID:
10489417
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Frontiers
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Volume:
13
ISSN:
2235-2988
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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