Research – Monitoring Growth and Removal of Pseudomonas Biofilms on Cellulose-Based Fabrics



Biofilms are often tolerant towards routine cleaning and disinfection processes. As they can grow on fabrics in household or healthcare settings, resulting in odors and serious health problems, it is necessary to contain biofilms through eradication strategies. The current study proposes a novel test model for the growth and removal of biofilms on textiles with Pseudomonas fluorescens and the opportunistic nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa as model organisms. To assess the biofilm removal on fabrics, (1) a detergent-based, (2) enzyme-based, and (3) combined formulation of both detergent and enzymes (F1/2) were applied. Biofilms were analyzed microscopically (FE-SEM, SEM, 3D laser scanning- and epifluorescence microscopy), via a quartz crystal microbalance with mass dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) as well as plate counting of colonies. This study indicated that Pseudomonas spp. form robust biofilms on woven cellulose that can be efficiently removed via F1/2, proven by a significant reduction (p < 0.001) of viable bacteria in biofilms. Moreover, microscopic analysis indicated a disruption and almost complete removal of the biofilms after F1/2 treatment. QCM-D measurements further confirmed a maximal mass dissipation change after applying F1/2. The combination strategy applying both enzymes and detergent is a promising antibiofilm approach to remove bacteria from fabrics.

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