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Francisella novicida and F. philomiragia biofilm features conditionning fitness in spring water and in presence of antibiotics

Claire Siebert 1 Corinne Villers 2 Georgios Pavlou 3 Bastien Touquet 3 Nandadeva Yakandawala 4 Isabelle Tardieux 3 Patricia Renesto 1, *
* Corresponding author
1 TIMC-IMAG-TheREx - Thérapeutique Recombinante Expérimentale
TIMC-IMAG - Techniques de l'Ingénierie Médicale et de la Complexité - Informatique, Mathématiques et Applications, Grenoble - UMR 5525
3 Membrane Dynamics of Parasite-Host Cell Interactions [Grenoble]
IAB - Institute for Advanced Biosciences / Institut pour l'Avancée des Biosciences (Grenoble)
Abstract : Biofilms are currently considered as a predominant lifestyle of many bacteria in nature. While they promote survival of microbes, biofilms also potentially increase the threats to animal and public health in case of pathogenic species. They not only facilitate bacteria transmission and persistence, but also promote spreading of antibiotic resistance leading to chronic infections. In the case of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, biofilms have remained largely enigmatic. Here, applying live and static confocal microscopy, we report growth and ultrastructural organization of the biofilms formed in vitro by these microorganisms over the early transition from coccobacillary into coccoid shape during biofilm assembly. Using selective dispersing agents, we provided evidence for extracellular DNA (eDNA) being a major and conserved structural component of mature biofilms formed by both F. subsp. novicida and a human clinical isolate of F. philomiragia. We also observed a higher physical robustness of F. novicida biofilm as compared to F. philomiragia one, a feature likely promoted by specific polysaccharides. Further, F. novicida biofilms resisted significantly better to ciprofloxacin than their planktonic counterparts. Importantly, when grown in biofilms, both Francisella species survived longer in cold water as compared to free-living bacteria, a trait possibly associated with a gain in fitness in the natural aquatic environment. Overall, this study provides information on survival of Francisella when embedded with biofilms that should improve both the future management of biofilm-related infections and the design of effective strategies to tackle down the problematic issue of bacteria persistence in aquatic ecosystems.
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Claire Siebert, Corinne Villers, Georgios Pavlou, Bastien Touquet, Nandadeva Yakandawala, et al.. Francisella novicida and F. philomiragia biofilm features conditionning fitness in spring water and in presence of antibiotics. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (2), pp.e0228591. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0228591⟩. ⟨inserm-02470346⟩

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