Phenotypic and functional characterization of Bacillus anthracis biofilms

Keehon Lee, J. W. Costerton, Jacques Ravel, Raymond K. Auerbach, David M Wagner, Paul S Keim, Jeff G. Leid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biofilms, communities of micro-organisms attached to a surface, are responsible for many chronic diseases and are often associated with environmental reservoirs or lifestyles. Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, endospore-forming bacterium and is the aetiological agent of pulmonary, gastrointestinal and cutaneous anthrax. Anthrax infections are part of the natural lifecycle of many ruminants in North America, including cattle and bison, and B. anthracis is thought to be a central part of this ecosystem. However, in endemic areas in which humans and livestock interact, chronic cases of cutaneous anthrax are commonly reported. This suggests that biofilms of B. anthracis exist in the environment and are part of the ecology associated with its lifecycle. Currently, there are few data that account for the importance of the biofilm mode of life in a anthracis, yet biofilms have been characterized in other pathogenic and non-pathogenic Bacillus species, including Bacillus cereus and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. This study investigated the phenotypic and functional role of biofilms in B. anthracis. The results demonstrate that B. anthracis readily forms biofilms which are inherently resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics, and that antibiotic resistance is not solely the function of sporulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1693-1701
Number of pages9
JournalMicrobiology
Volume153
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

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Bacillus anthracis
Biofilms
Gram-Positive Endospore-Forming Bacteria
Bison
Anthrax
Bacillus cereus
Ruminants
Livestock
Microbial Drug Resistance
North America
Bacillus subtilis
Ecology
Bacillus
Ecosystem
Life Style
Chronic Disease
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Lung
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology

Cite this

Phenotypic and functional characterization of Bacillus anthracis biofilms. / Lee, Keehon; Costerton, J. W.; Ravel, Jacques; Auerbach, Raymond K.; Wagner, David M; Keim, Paul S; Leid, Jeff G.

In: Microbiology, Vol. 153, No. 6, 06.2007, p. 1693-1701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, K, Costerton, JW, Ravel, J, Auerbach, RK, Wagner, DM, Keim, PS & Leid, JG 2007, 'Phenotypic and functional characterization of Bacillus anthracis biofilms', Microbiology, vol. 153, no. 6, pp. 1693-1701. https://doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.2006/003376-0
Lee, Keehon ; Costerton, J. W. ; Ravel, Jacques ; Auerbach, Raymond K. ; Wagner, David M ; Keim, Paul S ; Leid, Jeff G. / Phenotypic and functional characterization of Bacillus anthracis biofilms. In: Microbiology. 2007 ; Vol. 153, No. 6. pp. 1693-1701.
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