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Biomolecules 2018, 8(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8030087

Assessment of the Quorum Sensing Inhibition Activity of a Non-Toxic Chitosan in an N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone (AHL)-Based Escherichia coli Biosensor

1
Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Münster, Schlossplatz 8, 48143 Münster, Germany
2
Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Münster, Vesaliusweg 12-14, 48149 Münster, Germany
3
School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract

New approaches to deal with drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria are urgent. We studied the antibacterial effect of chitosans against an Escherichia coli quorum sensing biosensor reporter strain and selected a non-toxic chitosan to evaluate its quorum sensing (QS) inhibition activity and its effect on bacterial aggregation. To this end, chitosans of varying degree of acetylation (DA) (12 to 69%) and molecular weight (Mw) (29 to 288 kDa) were studied. Only chitosans of low DA (~12%) inhibited bacterial growth, regardless of their Mw. A chitosan with medium degree of polymerization (named MDP) DA30, with experimental DA 42% and Mw 115 kDa was selected for further QS inhibition and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging studies. MDP DA30 chitosan exhibited QS inhibition activity in an inverse dose-dependent manner (≤12.5 µg/mL). SEM images revealed that this chitosan, when added at low concentration (≤30.6 µg/mL), induced substantial bacterial aggregation, whereas at high concentration (234.3 µg/mL), it did not. Aggregation explains the QS inhibition activity as the consequence of retardation of the diffusion of N-acylated homoserine lactones (AHLs). View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; quorum sensing; antibacterial activity; quorum sensing inhibition chitosan; quorum sensing; antibacterial activity; quorum sensing inhibition
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Qin, X.; Emich, J.; Goycoolea, F.M. Assessment of the Quorum Sensing Inhibition Activity of a Non-Toxic Chitosan in an N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone (AHL)-Based Escherichia coli Biosensor. Biomolecules 2018, 8, 87.

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