Osmotic stress induces biofilm production by Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates from neonates.Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2019; 94(4):337-341DM
Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of the leading causes of bloodstream infections, particularly in premature neonates, and biofilm formation is a major virulence factor. We characterized biofilm formation by 50 S. epidermidis neonatal isolates under osmotic stress and evaluated the expression of biofilm-associated genes. Phenotypical analyses of biofilm production were performed in culture medium with or without addition of NaCl or glucose. In control medium (no additions), most isolates (84%) were nonproducers or weak biofilm producers. Growth in NaCl-containing medium increased the number of moderate/strong producers, and this increase was even greater in medium containing glucose. Most of the protein-enriched biofilms (60%) could be observed only during growth in glucose, whereas 50% of the polysaccharide-enriched biofilms were observed during growth in NaCl. Studies that evaluate the conditions used to characterize biofilm production are important to help us understand the dynamics of this important virulence factor in S. epidermidis and their impact on neonatal infections.