Antibiofilm agents: A new perspective for antimicrobial strategy
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a significant cause of gastroenteritis resulting from the consumption of undercooked sea foods and often cause significant infections in shrimp aquaculture. Vibrio virulence is associated with biofilm formation and is regulated by N-acylated homoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing. In an attempt to reduce vibrio colonisation of shrimps and mortality, we screened native intestinal bacilli from Indian white shrimps (Fenneropenaeus indicus) for an isolate which showed biofilm-inhibitory activity (quorum quenching) against the pathogen V. parahaemolyticus DAHP1. The AHL-lactonase (AiiA) expressed by one of these, Bacillus licheniformis DAHB1, was characterised as having a broad-spectrum AHL substrate specificity and intrinsic resistance to the acid conditions of the shrimp intestine. Purified recombinant AiiA inhibited vibrio biofilm development in a cover slip assay and significantly attenuated infection and mortality in shrimps reared in a recirculation aquaculture system. Investigation of intestinal samples also showed that AiiA treatment also reduced vibrio viable counts and biofilm development as determined by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) imaging. These findings suggest that the B. licheniformis DAHB1 quorum-quenching AiiA might be developed for use as a prophylactic treatment to inhibit or reduce vibrio colonisation and mortality of shrimps in aquaculture.