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Open AccessArticle

Unsaturated Fatty Acids Control Biofilm Formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria

1
Chemical Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstraße 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
2
Central Facility for Microscopy, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstraße 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
3
Microbial Drugs, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstraße 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
4
Department of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry, Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig, BRICS—Braunschweig Integrated Centre of Systems Biology, Rebenring 56, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antibiotics 2020, 9(11), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9110788
Received: 22 September 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 6 November 2020 / Published: 8 November 2020
Infections involving biofilms are difficult to treat due to increased resistances against antibiotics and the immune system. Hence, there is an urgent demand for novel drugs against biofilm infections. During our search for novel biofilm inhibitors from fungi, we isolated linoleic acid from the ascomycete Hypoxylon fragiforme which showed biofilm inhibition of several bacteria at sub-MIC concentrations. Many fatty acids possess antimicrobial activities, but their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) are high and reports on biofilm interferences are scarce. We demonstrated that not only linoleic acid but several unsaturated long-chain fatty acids inhibited biofilms at sub-MIC concentrations. The antibiofilm activity exerted by long-chain fatty acids was mainly against Gram-positive bacteria, especially against Staphylococcus aureus. Micrographs of treated S. aureus biofilms revealed a reduction in the extracellular polymeric substances, pointing to a possible mode of action of fatty acids on S. aureus biofilms. The fatty acids had a strong species specificity. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids had higher activities than saturated ones, but no obvious rule could be found for the optimal length and desaturation for maximal activity. As free fatty acids are non-toxic and ubiquitous in food, they may offer a novel tool, especially in combination with antibiotics, for the control of biofilm infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: fatty acid; Hypoxylon fragiforme; biofilm inhibition; Gram-positive bacteria; Staphylococcus aureus fatty acid; Hypoxylon fragiforme; biofilm inhibition; Gram-positive bacteria; Staphylococcus aureus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuyama, K.T.; Rohde, M.; Molinari, G.; Stadler, M.; Abraham, W.-R. Unsaturated Fatty Acids Control Biofilm Formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. Antibiotics 2020, 9, 788.

AMA Style

Yuyama KT, Rohde M, Molinari G, Stadler M, Abraham W-R. Unsaturated Fatty Acids Control Biofilm Formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. Antibiotics. 2020; 9(11):788.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yuyama, Kamila T.; Rohde, Manfred; Molinari, Gabriella; Stadler, Marc; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer. 2020. "Unsaturated Fatty Acids Control Biofilm Formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria" Antibiotics 9, no. 11: 788.

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