Bacteriophages are synergistic with bacterial interference for the prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation on urinary catheters

Authors

  • K.S. Liao,

    1. Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
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  • S.M. Lehman,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
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  • D.J. Tweardy,

    1. Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
    2. Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
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  • R.M. Donlan,

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
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  • B.W. Trautner

    Corresponding author
    1. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Houston VA Health Services Research Center of Excellence, Houston, TX, USA
    2. Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
    • Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
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Correspondence

Barbara W. Trautner, 1 Baylor Plaza, BCM286, Houston, TX 77030, USA. E-mail: trautner@bcm.edu

Abstract

Aims

We hypothesized that pretreating urinary catheters with benign Escherichia coli HU2117 plus an antipseudomonal bacteriophage (ΦE2005-A) would prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation on catheters – a pivotal event in the pathogenesis of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI).

Methods and Results

Silicone catheter segments were exposed to one of four pretreatments (sterile media; E. coli alone; phage alone; E. coli plus phage), inoculated with P. aeruginosa and then incubated up to 72 h in human urine before rinsing and sonicating to recover adherent bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa adherence to catheters was almost 4 log10 units lower when pretreated with E. coli plus phage compared to no pretreatment (P < 0·001) in 24-h experiments and more than 3 log10 units lower in 72-h experiments (P < 0·05). Neither E. coli nor phage alone generated significant decreases.

Conclusions

The combination of phages with a pre-established biofilm of E. coli HU2117 was synergistic in preventing catheter colonization by P. aeruginosa.

Significance and Impact of the Study

We describe a synergistic protection against colonization of urinary catheters by a common uropathogen. Escherichia coli-coated catheters are in clinical trials; adding phage may offer additional benefit.

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