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Bacteriophage-Derived Peptidase Eliminates and Prevents Staphylococcal Biofilms

DOI: 10.1155/2013/625341

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New antibacterial agents are urgently needed for the elimination of biofilm-forming bacteria that are highly resistant to traditional antimicrobial agents. Proliferation of such bacteria can lead to significant economic losses in the agri-food sector. This study demonstrates the potential of the bacteriophage-derived peptidase, , as a biocidal agent for the rapid disruption of biofilm-forming staphylococci, commonly associated with bovine mastitis. Purified applied to biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus DPC5246 completely eliminated the staphylococcal biofilms within 4?h. In addition, was able to prevent biofilm formation by this strain. The lysin also reduced S. aureus in a skin decolonization model. Our data demonstrates the potential of as a biocidal agent for prevention and treatment of biofilm-associated staphylococcal infections or as a decontaminating agent in the food and healthcare sectors. 1. Introduction Staphylococcal species commonly colonise the skin and mucosal membranes of both humans and animals. They are a significant causative agent of bovine mastitis in dairy herds [1] and are also associated with a number of diseases in humans, ranging from a variety of skin conditions to more serious infections such as septicemia [2]. Staphylococcal food poisoning is among the most common food-borne microbial diseases [3] and contamination of food industrial surfaces with staphylococcal species has been demonstrated to be a considerable risk factor [4–6]. Along with the urgent requirement for novel antibacterials to combat the prevalence of antibiotic/disinfectant resistant staphylococci in food processing, veterinary and healthcare settings, there is an increasing need for effective antimicrobial agents which can prevent and treat staphylococcal biofilm-associated infections [7–11]. Biofilms are multilayered communities of sessile cells protected by an extracellular matrix, which often adhere to food contact surfaces, damaged tissue and indwelling medical devices [12–14]. Once formed, biofilms may be up to 1,000 times more resistant to antimicrobial agents than planktonic cells alone making them particularly difficult to eliminate [15]. This can ultimately lead to increased risk of persistent infections, as is commonly the case with bovine mastitis [16]. In addition, because of their increased levels of resistance, biofilm-associated infections can result in a need for explantation of medical devices in human healthcare settings [17, 18]. Although the precise mechanisms of biofilm antibiotic resistance have yet to be fully resolved, failure to


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