Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 431–437 | Cite as

In vitro effect of pH and ethanol on biofilm formation by clinicalica-positiveStaphylococcus epidermidis strains

  • Kamel ChaiebEmail author
  • Olfa Chehab
  • Tarek Zmantar
  • Mahmoud Rouabhia
  • Kacem Mahdouani
  • Amina Bakhrouf
Applied Microbiology Original Articles


Biofilm production is an important step in the pathogenesis ofStaphylococcus epidermidis associated biomaterial infections.Staphylococcus epidermidis strains isolated from dialysis fluid (n=9) and needle cultures (n=14) were phenotyped and genotyped for extracellular polysaccharide production and were examined for their ability to produce slime in a medium at various pH levels (3, 5, 7, 9 and 12) and with ethanol supplementation (0, 2, 5, 10 and 15%) using a semi-quantitative adherence assay. A total of 23 clinicalicaADBC positiveS. epidermidis, one reference strain (S. epidermidis CIP 106510) used as positive control, and oneicaADBC negative strain (E21) were investigated. Qualitative biofilm production analysis revealed that 15 of the 23icaADBC positive strains (65.21%) produced slime on Congo Red agar plates. Quantitative biofilm was determined by measuring the optical density at 570 nm (OD570). The results show that the slime production depended on the pH value of the medium and the ethanol concentration. At highly acidic (pH 3) and alkaline (pH 12) levels, the OD570 was lower, while at pH 7 the adhesion was moderate. In addition the cells adhered strongly with 2% ethanol than with the other concentrations. Our results suggest that pH and ethanol were stress factors that led toS. epidermidis biofilm formation and also play a possible role in the pathogenesis of biomaterial-related infections.

Key words

Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm ica gene Congo Red agar pH ethanol 


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Copyright information

© University of Milan and Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kamel Chaieb
    • 3
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olfa Chehab
    • 1
  • Tarek Zmantar
    • 3
  • Mahmoud Rouabhia
    • 2
  • Kacem Mahdouani
    • 1
  • Amina Bakhrouf
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de BactériologieHôpital Régionale de KairouanTunisie
  2. 2.Groupe de Recherche en Écologie Buccale, Faculté de Médecine DentaireUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Faculté de PharmacieLaboratoire d’Analyse et de Contrôle des Polluants Chimiques et Microbilogiques de l’EnvironnementMonastirTunisie

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