Poloxamer 338 Affects Cell Adhesion and Biofilm Formation in Escherichia coli: Potential Applications in the Management of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections.

Poloxamers are nontoxic, amphiphilic copolymers used in different formulations. Due to its surfactant properties, Poloxamer 338 (P388) is herein proposed as a strategy to avoid biofilm formation often causing recalcitrant catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The aim is to evaluate the ability of P388 coatings to affect the adhesion of Ec5FSL and Ec9FSL Escherichia coli strains on silicone urinary catheters. Attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and static water contact angle measurement were employed to characterize the P388-coated silicone catheter in terms of amount of P388 layered, coating thickness, homogeneity, and hydrophilicity. In static conditions, the antifouling power of P388 was defined by comparing the E.coli cells adherent on a hydrophilic P388-adsorbed catheter segment with those on an uncoated one. A P388-coated catheter, having a homogeneous coverage of 35 nm in thickness, reduced of 0.83 log10 and 0.51 log10 the biofilm of Ec5FSL and Ec9FSL, respectively. In dynamic conditions, the percentage of cell adhesion on P388-adsorbed silicone channels was investigated by a microfluidic system, simulating the in vivo conditions of catheterized patients. As a result, both E. coli isolates were undetected. The strong and stable antifouling property against E. coli biofilm lead us to consider P388 as a promising anti-biofilm agent for CAUTIs control.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Oct 25*** epublish ***

Mariarita Stirpe, Benedetta Brugnoli, Gianfranco Donelli, Iolanda Francolini, Claudia Vuotto

Microbial Biofilm Laboratory, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, 00143 Rome, Italy., Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy.

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