Potential of the adhesion of bacteria isolated from drinking water to materials



Heterotrophic bacteria (11 genera, 14 species, 25 putative strains) were isolated from drinking water, identified either biochemically or by partial 16s rDNA gene sequencing and their adherence characteristics were determined by two methods: i. thermodynamic prediction of adhesion potential by measuring hydrophobicity (contact angle measurements) and ii. by measuring adherence to eight different substrata (ASI 304 and 316 stainless steel, copper, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polyethylene, silicone and glass). All the test organisms were hydrophilic and inter-species variation in hydrophobicity occurred only for Comamonas acidovorans. Stainless steel 304 (SS 304), copper, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) and silicone thermodynamically favoured adhesion for the majority of test strains (>18/25), whilst adhesion was generally less thermodynamically favorable for stainless steel 316 (SS 316), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and glass. The predictability of thermodynamic adhesion test methods was validated by comparison with 24-well microtiter plate assays using nine reference strains and three adhesion surfaces (SS 316, PVC and PE). Results for Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Burkolderia cepacia and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia sp. 2 were congruent between both methods whilst they differed for the other bacteria to at least one material. Only A. calcoaceticus had strongly adherent properties to the three tested surfaces. Strain variation in adhesion ability was detected only for Sphingomonas capsulata. Analysis of adhesion demonstrated that in addition to physicochemical surface properties of bacterium and substratum, biological factors are involved in early adhesion processes, suggesting that reliance on thermodynamic approaches alone may not accurately predict adhesion capacity. (© 2007 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)