Special Issue "Bacteriophages and Biofilms"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacterial Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa Website E-Mail
Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: biofilm; phage-host interactions; phage-borne enzymes; alternative antibacterial therapies
Guest Editor
Dr. Barbara Maciejewska E-Mail
Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biofilms are a community of surface-associated microorganisms embedded within a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS—extracellular polymeric substances) composed essentially of polysaccharides, eDNA, and proteins. These multicellular communities are characterised by the presence of different cell types in terms of physiology and phenotype.

Persister cells are much more abundant in biofilms compared to planktonic culture; therefore, it is important to understand persister cells interactions with domesticated phages (prophages) as well as with lytic ones. Phages are actively involved in biofilm formation, in two different ways: as promoting or degrading agents. Phages can be equipped with matrix-degrading enzymes and effectively infect biofilm-embedded cells. In this meaning, phages are a natural and helpful weapon against microbial biofilms. On the other hand, prophages regulate phage-mediated cell lysis and eDNA release, an important component of stabilizing the biofilm matrix.

The ability to form biofilms and to modify virulence in response to environmental changes is coordinated by complex bacterial signaling networks such as two-component systems (TCS), secondary messengers involved in quorum sensing (QS), and c-di-GMP networks (diguanylate cyclase systems, DGC). Signal cascades dynamically control the transition from free-living to the sessile mode of growth in response to external environment changes, including viral infection. Therefore, it is interesting to understand the interaction of phages with the bacterial signaling network.

In this Special Issue, we are looking for reports and reviews of the most current findings on the phage role in bacterial biofilms formation, maintenance, and degradation. We welcome the submission of original research, reviews, and mini-reviews covering but not limited to the following topics:

  1. The influence of phages in regulating biofilm initiation, development, function, and dispersal;
  2. Phage-mediated horizontal gene transfer within the sessile community;
  3. Phage-phage interactions and communication in multicellular bacterial communities;
  4. The role of phages in regulating the bacterial signaling network and intercellular interactions;
  5. Phage propagation regulation/preferences during the infection of biofilm-forming bacteria;
  6. Anti-viral infection mechanisms of sessile cells;
  7. Phage influence on the physiology and fitness of biofilm communities;
  8. The development of novel strategies for preventing or controlling biofilm formation based on phage products.

Dr. Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa
Dr. Barbara Maciejewska
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • phages
  • phage-sessile cells interactions
  • persister cells
  • lysogeny/pseudolysogeny
  • anti-phage mechanisms of biofilm-living bacteria
  • anti-biofilm treatment
  • phage-based pro-biofilm activity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Application of a Phage Cocktail for Control of Salmonella in Foods and Reducing Biofilms
Viruses 2019, 11(9), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11090841 - 10 Sep 2019
Abstract
Salmonella contamination in foods and their formation of biofilms in food processing facility are the primary bacterial cause of a significant number of foodborne outbreaks and infections. Broad lytic phages are promising alternatives to conventional technologies for pathogen biocontrol in food matrices and [...] Read more.
Salmonella contamination in foods and their formation of biofilms in food processing facility are the primary bacterial cause of a significant number of foodborne outbreaks and infections. Broad lytic phages are promising alternatives to conventional technologies for pathogen biocontrol in food matrices and reducing biofilms. In this study, 42 Salmonella phages were isolated from environmentally-sourced water samples. We characterized the host range and lytic capacity of phages LPSTLL, LPST94 and LPST153 against Salmonella spp., and all showed a wide host range and broad lytic activity. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that LPSTLL, LPST94, and LPST153 belonged to the family of Siphoviridae, Ackermannviridae and Podoviridae, respectively. We established a phage cocktail containing three phages (LPSTLL, LPST94 and LPST153) that had broad spectrum to lyse diverse Salmonella serovars. A significant decrease was observed in Salmonella with a viable count of 3 log10 CFU in milk and chicken breast at either 25 °C or 4 °C. It was found that treatment with phage cocktail was able to significantly reduced biofilm on a 96-well microplate (44–63%) and on a stainless steel surface (5.23 to 6.42 log10). These findings demonstrated that the phage cocktail described in this study can be potentially used as a biological control agent against Salmonella in food products and also has the effect to reduce Salmonella formed biofilms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophages and Biofilms)
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Open AccessArticle
Therapeutic Potential of an Endolysin Derived from Kayvirus S25-3 for Staphylococcal Impetigo
Viruses 2019, 11(9), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11090769 - 22 Aug 2019
Abstract
Impetigo is a contagious skin infection predominantly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Decontamination of S. aureus from the skin is becoming more difficult because of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. Bacteriophage endolysins are less likely to invoke resistance and can eliminate the target [...] Read more.
Impetigo is a contagious skin infection predominantly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Decontamination of S. aureus from the skin is becoming more difficult because of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. Bacteriophage endolysins are less likely to invoke resistance and can eliminate the target bacteria without disturbance of the normal microflora. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of a recombinant endolysin derived from kayvirus S25-3 against staphylococcal impetigo in an experimental setting. First, the recombinant S25-3 endolysin required an incubation period of over 15 minutes to exhibit efficient bactericidal effects against S. aureus. Second, topical application of the recombinant S25-3 endolysin decreased the number of intraepidermal staphylococci and the size of pustules in an experimental mouse model of impetigo. Third, treatment with the recombinant S25-3 endolysin increased the diversity of the skin microbiota in the same mice. Finally, we revealed the genus-specific bacteriolytic effect of recombinant S25-3 endolysin against staphylococci, particularly S. aureus, among human skin commensal bacteria. Therefore, topical treatment with recombinant S25-3 endolysin can be a promising disease management procedure for staphylococcal impetigo by efficient bacteriolysis of S. aureus while improving the cutaneous bacterial microflora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophages and Biofilms)
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Open AccessArticle
Selection of Bacteriophages to Control In Vitro 24 h Old Biofilm of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated from Drinking and Thermal Water
Viruses 2019, 11(8), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11080749 - 13 Aug 2019
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes public healthcare issues. In moist environments, this Gram-negative bacterium persists through biofilm-associated contamination on surfaces. Bacteriophages are seen as a promising alternative strategy to chemical biocides. This study evaluates the potential of nine lytic bacteriophages [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes public healthcare issues. In moist environments, this Gram-negative bacterium persists through biofilm-associated contamination on surfaces. Bacteriophages are seen as a promising alternative strategy to chemical biocides. This study evaluates the potential of nine lytic bacteriophages as biocontrol treatments against nine environmental P. aerginosa isolates. The spot test method is preliminarily used to define the host range of each virus and to identify their minimum infectious titer, depending on the strain. Based on these results, newly isolated bacteriophages 14.1, LUZ7, and B1 are selected and assessed on a planktonic cell culture of the most susceptible isolates (strains MLM, D1, ST395E, and PAO1). All liquid infection assays are achieved in a mineral minimum medium that is much more representative of real moist environments than standard culture medium. Phages 14.1 and LUZ7 eliminate up to 90% of the PAO1 and D1 bacterial strains. Hence, their effectiveness is evaluated on the 24 h old biofilms of these strains, established on a stainless steel coupon that is characteristic of materials found in thermal and industrial environments. The results of quantitative PCR viability show a maximum reduction of 1.7 equivalent Log CFU/cm2 in the coupon between treated and untreated surfaces and shed light on the importance of considering the entire virus/host/environment system for optimizing the treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophages and Biofilms)
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