Comparison of biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis strains isolated from sheep milk using three diagnostic methods.

Research paper by M M Vasil', Z Z Farkasova, J J Elecko, J J Illek, F F Zigo

Indexed on: 04 Apr '18Published on: 04 Apr '18Published in: Polish journal of veterinary sciences


In this study we investigated 24 strains of Staphylococcus aureus and 33 strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from milk of sheep with clinical mastitis, for their ability to form biofilms. Three methods for the determination of a biofilm were used. When evaluating the growth on Congo Red agar (CRA), 79.2% S. aureus strains and 72.7% S. epidermidis strains were positive for biofilm formation. The quantitative method of biofilm detection on a Microtitre Plate (MTP) revealed positive results for 75.0% of S. aureus samples and 75.8% for S. epidermidis samples. Using PCR method for determination of the presence of genes that affect formation of biofilms, the most frequently determined genes were eno in both S. aureus (18/24; 75.0%) and S. epidermidis strains (20/33; 60.6%). The genes icaAB and ebpS were detected in both S. aureus and S. epidermidis strains, and similarity between these strains was 12.5% - 15.1% and 4.2% - 6.0%, respectively. The bap was recorded only in S. epidermidis (3.0%). Statistical comparison of the level of biofilm formation was performed using Chi square test. There were no statistically significant differences in the amount of biofilm formation between two methods for detection of biofilm CRA and MTP (p>0.05). Comparison of all six monitored parameters showed no dependence of characteristics of the tested strains S. aureus and S. epidermidis at significance level α = 0.05. Biofilm formation by the bacteria isolated from 57 cases of clinical mastitis in sheep was confirmed. Sensitivity and specificity of the CRA method for S. aureus were 94.44% and 66.66%, respectively, and for S. epidermidis 92.0% and 87.5%, respectively. Both CRA and MTP methods can be recommended for the detection of biofilm production by S. aureus and S. epidermidis strains isolated from milk of sheep with clinical mastitis. Copyright© by the Polish Academy of Sciences.