Low concentrations of honey reduce biofilm formation, quorum sensing, and virulence in Escherichia coli O157:H7.

School of Chemical Engineering, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, 712-74, Republic of Korea.
Biofouling (Impact Factor: 3.4). 11/2011; 27(10):1095-104. DOI: 10.1080/08927014.2011.633704
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacterial biofilms are associated with persistent infections due to their high resistance to antimicrobial agents. Hence, controlling pathogenic biofilm formation is important in bacteria-related diseases. Honey, at a low concentration of 0.5% (v/v), significantly reduced biofilm formation in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 without inhibiting the growth of planktonic cells. Conversely, this concentration did not inhibit commensal E. coli K-12 biofilm formation. Transcriptome analyses showed that honey significantly repressed curli genes (csgBAC), quorum sensing genes (AI-2 importer and indole biosynthesis), and virulence genes (LEE genes). Glucose and fructose in the honeys were found to be key components in reducing biofilm formation by E. coli O157:H7 through the suppression of curli production and AI-2 import. Furthermore, honey, glucose and fructose decreased the colonization of E. coli O157:H7 cells on human HT-29 epithelial cells. These results suggest that low concentrations of honey, such as in honeyed water, can be a practical means for reducing the colonization and virulence of pathogenic E. coli O157:H7.

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