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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Infectious Diseases - Microbiology - Respiratory Medicine

Assessment of Microbial Diversity in Biofilms Recovered from Endotracheal Tubes Using Culture Dependent and Independent Approaches
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Author: Ilse Vandecandelaere et al.

by Ilse Vandecandelaere, Nele Matthijs, Filip Van Nieuwerburgh, Dieter Deforce, Peter Vosters, Liesbet De Bus, Hans J. Nelis, Pieter Depuydt, Tom Coenye

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common nosocomial infection in mechanically ventilated patients. Biofilm formation is one of the mechanisms through which the endotracheal tube (ET) facilitates bacterial contamination of the lower airways. In the present study, we analyzed the composition of the ET biofilm flora by means of culture dependent and culture independent (16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and pyrosequencing) approaches. Overall, the microbial diversity was high and members of different phylogenetic lineages were detected (Actinobacteria, beta-Proteobacteria, Candida spp., Clostridia, epsilon-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria and gamma-Proteobacteria). Culture dependent analysis, based on the use of selective growth media and conventional microbiological tests, resulted in the identification of typical aerobic nosocomial pathogens which are known to play a role in the development of VAP, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Other opportunistic pathogens were also identified, including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Kocuria varians. In general, there was little correlation between the results obtained by sequencing 16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and by cultivation. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplified 16 S rRNA genes of four selected samples resulted in the identification of a much wider variety of bacteria. The results from the pyrosequencing analysis suggest that these four samples were dominated by members of the normal oral flora such as Prevotella spp., Peptostreptococcus spp. and lactic acid bacteria. A combination of methods is recommended to obtain a complete picture of the microbial diversity of the ET biofilm.
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