Staphylococcus aureus is commonly associated with biofilm-related infections and contributes to the large financial loss that accompany nosocomial infections. The micrococcal nuclease Nuc1 enzyme limits biofilm formation via cleavage of eDNA, a structural component of the biofilm matrix. Solid surface hydrophobicity influences bacterial adhesion forces and may as well influence eDNA production. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the impact of Nuc1 activity is dependent on surface characteristics of solid surfaces. For this reason, this study investigated the influence of solid surface hydrophobicity on S. aureus Newman biofilms where Nuc1 is constitutively produced. To this end, biofilms of both a wild-type and a nuc1 knockout mutant strain, grown on glass, salinized glass and Pluronic F-127-coated silanized glass were analysed. Results indicated that biofilms can grow in the presence of Nuc1 activity. Also, Nuc1 and solid surface hydrophobicity significantly affected the biofilm 3D-architecture. In particular, biofilm densities of the wild-type strain on hydrophilic surfaces appeared higher than of the mutant nuc1 knockout strain. Since virulence is related to bacterial cell densities, this suggests that the virulence of S. aureus Newman biofilms is increased by its nuclease production in particular on a hydrophilic surface.
- Staphylococcus aureus