Abstract:

Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome has been implicated in inflammatory bowel diseases. We have shown that levels of Candida tropicalis, along with those of Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens, are significantly elevated in Crohn’s disease (CD) patients. Here, we evaluated the ability of a novel probiotic to prevent and treat polymicrobial biofilms (PMB) formed by C. tropicalis with E. coli and S. marcescens. Since Candida albicans has been reported to be elevated in CD patients, we investigated the interactions of C. albicans with these bacterial species in biofilm formation. We determined whether the interaction between Candida spp. and bacteria is specific by using Trichosporon inkin and Saccharomyces fibuligera as comparators. Additionally, the effects of probiotics on C. albicans germination and biofilm formation were determined. To determine the ability of the probiotic to prevent or treat mature biofilms, probiotic filtrate was added to the PMB at early (prevention) and mature (treatment) phases. Biofilm thickness and architecture were assessed by confocal scanning laser microscopy. The effects of the probiotic on germination were evaluated in the presence of serum. Exposure of C. tropicalis PMB to probiotic filtrate reduced biofilm matrix, decreased thickness, and inhibited hyphal formation. We showed that C. albicans or C. tropicalis formed significantly thicker PMB than control biofilms, indicating that this interaction is Candida specific. Treatment with probiotic filtrate inhibited C. albicans germination and prevented/treated C. albicans PMB. The designed probiotic may have utility in the management of biofilm-associated gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s and colorectal cancer.

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