Current Microbiology

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 106–114 | Cite as

Immobilized Hydrolytic Enzymes Exhibit Antibiofilm Activity Against Escherichia coli at Sub-Lethal Concentrations

  • Federica VillaEmail author
  • Francesco Secundo
  • Andrea Polo
  • Francesca Cappitelli


The effects of two commercially available immobilized enzymes (namely the glycosidase pectinase and the protease subtilisin A) at sub-lethal concentrations were investigated in terms of their influence on biofilm genesis, on the composition of the biofilm matrix, and their antibiotic synergy against Escherichia coli biofilm, used as a model system of bacterial biofilms. The best antibiofilm performance of solid-supported hydrolases was obtained at the surface concentration of 0.022 and 0.095 U/cm2 with a reduction of 1.2 and 2.3 log CFU/biofilm for pectinase and subtilisin, respectively. At these enzyme surface concentrations, the biocatalysts affected the structural composition of the biofilm matrix, impacting biofilm thickness. Finally, the immobilized hydrolases enhanced biofilm sensitivity to a clinically relevant concentration of the antibiotic ampicillin. At the final antibiotic concentration of 0.1 mg/ml, a reduction of 2 and 3.5 log10 units in presence of 0.022 Upectinase/cm2 and 0.095 Usubtilisin/cm2 was obtained, respectively, in comparison the antibiotic alone. Immobilized pectinase and subtilisin at sub-lethal concentrations demonstrated a great potential for antibiofilm applications.


Immobilize Enzyme Triclosan Planktonic Growth Antibiofilm Activity Zosteric Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by Fondazione Cariplo, Grant no. 2011-0277.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Villa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francesco Secundo
    • 2
  • Andrea Polo
    • 1
  • Francesca Cappitelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze per gli Alimenti, la Nutrizione e l’AmbienteUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare, CNRMilanItaly

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