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Fire Ant Venom Alkaloids Inhibit Biofilm Formation

1
Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos, Chagas Filho (IBCCF), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21044-020, Brazil
2
Red Imported Fire Ant Research Centre, South China Agricultural University (SCAU), Guangzhou 510642, China
3
Departamento de Bioquímica (DBq), Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21044-020, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Toxins 2019, 11(7), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11070420
Received: 18 May 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venom Components and Their Potential Usage)
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Abstract

Biofilm formation on exposed surfaces is a serious issue for the food industry and medical health facilities. There are many proposed strategies to delay, reduce, or even eliminate biofilm formation on surfaces. The present study focuses on the applicability of fire ant venom alkaloids (aka ‘solenopsins’, from Solenopsis invicta) tested on polystyrene and stainless steel surfaces relative to the adhesion and biofilm-formation by the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Conditioning with solenopsins demonstrates significant reduction of bacterial adhesion. Inhibition rates were 62.7% on polystyrene and 59.0% on stainless steel surfaces. In addition, solenopsins drastically reduced cell populations already growing on conditioned surfaces. Contrary to assumptions by previous authors, solenopsins tested negative for amphipathic properties, thus understanding the mechanisms behind the observed effects still relies on further investigation.
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Keywords: natural antibiotics; piperidine heterocyclic amines; industrial biotechnology; LTQ Orbitrap Hybrid Mass Spectrometer; myrmecology natural antibiotics; piperidine heterocyclic amines; industrial biotechnology; LTQ Orbitrap Hybrid Mass Spectrometer; myrmecology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Carvalho, D.B.; Fox, E.G.P.; Santos, D.G.; Sousa, J.S.; Freire, D.M.G.; Nogueira, F.C.S.; Domont, G.B.; Castilho, L.V.A.; Machado, E.A. Fire Ant Venom Alkaloids Inhibit Biofilm Formation. Toxins 2019, 11, 420.

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