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The use of ultrasonic imaging to evaluate the effect of protazoan grazing and movement on the topography of bacterial biofilms.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Letters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)364-370
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Aims: This study evaluated the effect of protozoan movement and grazing on the topography of a dual-bacterial biofilm using both conventional light microscopy and a new ultrasonic technique. Methods and Results: Coupons of dialysis membrane were incubated in Chalkley's medium for 3 days at 23°C in the presence of bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella aerogenes) alone, or in co-culture with the flagellate Bodo designis, the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis or the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Amoebic presence resulted in a confluent biofilm similar to the bacteria-only biofilm while the flagellate and ciliate created more diverse biofilm topographies comprising bacterial microcolonies and cavities. Conclusions: The four distinct biofilm topographies were successfully discerned with ultrasonic imaging and the method yielded information similar to that obtained with conventional light microscopy. Significance and Impact of the Study: Ultrasonic imaging provides a potential way forward in the development of a portable, nondestructive technique for profiling the topography of biofilms in situ, which might aid in the future management of biofouling.