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Enterococcal surface protein, Esp, enhances biofilm formation by Enterococcus faecalis

Enterococcal surface protein, Esp, enhances biofilm formation by Enterococcus faecalis

Infection and Immunity 72(10): 6032-6039

Enterococci play a dual role in human ecology. They serve as commensal organisms of the gastrointestinal tract and are also leading causes of multiple antibiotic-resistant hospital-acquired infection. Many nosocomial infections result from the ability of microorganisms to form biofilms. The molecular mechanisms involved in enterococcal biofilm formation are only now beginning to be understood. Enterococcal surface protein, Esp, has been reported to contribute to biofilm formation by Enterococcus faecalis. Recent studies have shown that enterococci form biofilms independently of Esp expression. To precisely determine what role Esp plays in E. faecalis biofilm formation, Esp was expressed on the cell surface of genetically well-defined, natively Esp-deficient strains, and isogenic Esp-positive and Esp-deficient strains were compared for their biofilm-forming ability. The results show that Esp expression leads to a significant increase in biofilm formation, irrespective of the strain tested. The contribution of Esp to biofilm formation was found to be most pronounced in the presence of 0.5% (wt/vol) or greater glucose. These results unambiguously define Esp as a key contributor to the ability of E. faecalis to form biofilms.

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Accession: 012042151

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PMID: 15385507

DOI: 10.1128/iai.72.10.6032-6039.2004

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