Nisin and lysostaphin activity against preformed biofilm ofStaphylococcus aureusinvolved in bovine mastitis

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The biofilm produced by Staphylococcus aureus isolates involved in clinical or subclinical bovine mastitis and the activity of nisin and lysostaphin against the preformed biofilm produced by these strains were investigated.

Methods and Results

Eighteen strains were tested and all produced biofilm. Eight strains with distinct biofilm composition were selected for the antimicrobial activity assays. The minimal inhibitory concentration of each bacteriocin was determined against the planktonic cells and ranged from 15·6 to 500 μg ml−1 for nisin, and from 3·9 to 50 μg ml−1, for lysostaphin. Lysostaphin treatment (0·4 μg ml−1) for 4 h caused a strong Staph. aureus 4181 biofilm detachment and death of the majority of the sessile cells, while nisin treatment (100 μg ml−1) for the same time caused only a great reduction in cell viability. Additionally, combination of both bacteriocins for 4 h resulted in significant death of the sessile cells but no biofilm detachment.


The treatment with lysostaphin alone or in combination with nisin was effective in killing most biofilm sessile cells.

Significance and Impact of the Study

The action of lysostaphin, either alone or in combination with nisin, against established staphylococcal biofilm may represent an alternative to bovine mastitis control. However, the duration of the treatment should be considered for its application so that the best effectiveness can be achieved.

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