Detection of icaA and icaD loci by polymerase chain reaction and biofilm formation by Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from dialysate and needles in a dialysis unit.

Research paper by K K Chaieb, K K Mahdouani, A A Bakhrouf

Indexed on: 17 Sep '05Published on: 17 Sep '05Published in: Journal of Hospital Infection


Staphylococcus epidermidis, a coagulase-negative staphylococcus, is a major cause of infections associated with indwelling medical devices. Certain strains produce slime and form biofilm on polymer surfaces, where their pathogenicity is associated with biofilm formation. In this report, we investigated the presence or absence of the intercellular adhesion icaA and icaD genes by polymerase chain reaction, and phenotypic biofilm production was examined by qualitative Congo red agar (CRA) assay. A total of 32 strains of S. epidermidis were identified from dialysates and needles 4h after the initiation of dialysis. Qualitative biofilm production revealed that 16 (50%) strains produced slime on CRA plates. Among the 23 strains positive for the ica operon, 15 were biofilm positive on CRA, eight were biofilm negative, and one was icaA and icaD negative but produced slime. These results show that the ability of S. epidermidis to produce slime is not associated with the presence of icaA and icaD genes.