The Application of Silver Nanoparticles and Bacteriophage to Combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes 51,000 infections in hospitalized patients and 2,500 deaths annually in the United States alone. Chronic wound infections typically exist as biofilms. Silver nanoparticles- a typical treatment for chronic wound infections- and bacteriophage- viruses that infect bacteria- are a novel area of research to explore the efficacy of biofilm degradation of P. aeruginosa biofilms. Five prospective phages were isolated from the environment and screened against a panel of P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. Pseudomonas strain PA14 was chosen for downstream characterization experiments which included: efficiency of plating, genome annotation, bacteriophage insensitive mutant frequency, adsorption, and one-step growth curve. The selected phage, Chandler, showed similar efficacy to a cocktail of phages and was chosen for downstream experiments such as the minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC). MBEC and imaging results using scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that sequential and combined application of both treatments displayed high biofilm degradation against PA14 biofilms.