Investigating control strategies to limit biofilm formation and/or quorum sensing by Aeromonas spp. isolates.
Aeromonas spp. are important biofilm-forming fish pathogens causing great economic loss in aquaculture. Bacterial cells within biofilms communicate with each other via the production of quorum sensing (QS) signalling molecules called acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs), which influence biofilm development and production of virulence factors. QS together with efflux pumps, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and eDNA are associated with resistance of bacteria to antimicrobial agents. These mechanisms provide a target for different control strategies. The objectives of this study were to: (i) determine effective antimicrobial agents and exposure concentrations against aeromonad biofilms; (ii) ascertain whether Aeromonas spp. produce QS molecules or display efflux pump phenotypes, and (iii) investigate the effect of antimicrobial agents, lytic enzymes, efflux pump inhibitors and QS inhibitors on biofilm formation by Aeromonas spp. isolates.signalling MICs of azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, ceftazidime, and tetracycline ranged between 0.064-64 μg/ml. Gentamicin had the lowest MICs which ranged between 0.0048-32 μg/ml.The highest MBIC at which antimicrobial agents exhibited inhibition was 4096 μg/ml. Majority of the isolates displayed MIC levels ranging from 2-32 μg/ml, and thus a ≥ 128-fold increase was observed for MBICs. Of the sub-MIC, MIC and supra-MIC exposures tested, MIC exposure of biofilms was the most effective. Gentamicin MIC exposures inhibited initial attachment of 100% (28/28) of isolates tested, while azithromycin MIC exposure detached 82.1% (23/28) of isolates. Carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone completely inhibited efflux of cefpodoximeby 14.8% of isolates. However, 1-(1-naphthylmethyl)-piperazinewas more effective, decreasing adherence of 98.1% (53/54) of isolates and increasing detachment of 100% (54/54) of isolates. DNase I was more effective against the mature biofilm,where it increased biofilm detachment of 64.8% of isolates. Of the 48 Aeromonas spp. and six Plesiomonas spp. isolates used, only a single isolate induced the production of violacein by the C. violaceum CV026 biosensor, while all isolates induced the utilization of X-gal to produce a visible blue colour with the A.tumefaciens A136 biosensor. Based on the reaction to the two biosensors, aeromonads appeared to produce long-chain acylhomoserine lactones. By blocking QS, S-adenosyl homoserinewas more effective in inhibiting both initial attachment (72.2% of isolates) and pre-formed biofilms (detached 74.1% of isolates). The investigated strategies are promising for Aeromonas spp. biofilm inhibition. Thesecould be explored aspotential therapeutic measures in aquaculture systems to limit aeromonad pathogenicity and overcome antimicrobial resistance.