Effectiveness of Chitosan against Mature Biofilms Formed by Food Related Bacteria
Surfaces coated with the naturally-occurring polysaccharide chitosan (partially deacetylated poly N-acetyl glucosamine) resisted biofilm formation by bacteria and yeast. Reductions in biofilm viable cell numbers ranging from 95% to 99.9997% were demonstrated for Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans on chitosan-coated surfaces over a 54-h experiment in comparison to controls. For instance, chitosan-coated surfaces reduced S. epidermidis surface-associated growth more than 5.5 (10)log units (99.9997%) compared to a control surface. As a comparison, coatings containing a combination of the antibiotics minocycline and rifampin reduced S. epidermidis growth by 3.9 (10)log units (99.99%) and coatings containing the antiseptic chlorhexidine did not significantly reduce S. epidermidis surface associated growth as compared to controls. The chitosan effects were confirmed with microscopy. Using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent-dye-loaded S. epidermidis, the permeabilization of these cells was observed as they alighted on chitosan-coated surfaces. This suggests chitosan disrupts cell membranes as microbes settle on the surface. Chitosan offers a flexible, biocompatible platform for designing coatings to protect surfaces from infection.