Next Article in Journal
Emerging Roles of Heparanase in Viral Pathogenesis
Previous Article in Journal
Listeria monocytogenes Biofilms in the Wonderland of Food Industry
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 42;

Inhibition of Adherence of Mycobacterium avium to Plumbing Surface Biofilms of Methylobacterium spp.

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [486 KB, uploaded 14 September 2017]   |  


Both Mycobacterium spp. and Methylobacterium spp. are opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens that are found on pipe surfaces in households. However, examination of data published in prior microbiological surveys indicates that Methylobacterium spp. and Mycobacterium spp. tend not to coexist in the same household plumbing biofilms. That evidence led us to test the hypothesis that Methylobacterium spp. in biofilms could inhibit the adherence of Mycobacterium avium. Measurements of adherence of M. avium cells to stainless steel coupons using both culture and PCR-based methods showed that the presence of Methylobacterium spp. biofilms substantially reduced M. avium adherence and vice versa. That inhibition of M. avium adherence was not reduced by UV-irradiation, cyanide/azide exposure, or autoclaving of the Methylobacterium spp. biofilms. Further, there was no evidence of the production of anti-mycobacterial compounds by biofilm-grown Methylobacterium spp. cells. The results add to understanding of the role of microbial interactions in biofilms as a driving force in the proliferation or inhibition of opportunistic pathogens in premise plumbing, and provide a potential new avenue by which M. avium exposures may be reduced for at-risk individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mycobacterium avium; Methylobacterium; adherence; biofilm formation Mycobacterium avium; Methylobacterium; adherence; biofilm formation

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Muñoz Egea, M.C.; Ji, P.; Pruden, A.; Falkinham III, J.O. Inhibition of Adherence of Mycobacterium avium to Plumbing Surface Biofilms of Methylobacterium spp.. Pathogens 2017, 6, 42.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Pathogens EISSN 2076-0817 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top