Anti-biofilm potential of a glycolipid surfactant produced by a tropical marine strain of Serratia marcescens.

PMID 21707248


A tropical marine bacterium isolated from the hard coral, Symphyllia sp. was identified as Serratia marcescens on the basis of morphological, biochemical and 16S rDNA analysis. The bacterium showed antimicrobial activity towards the pathogens Candida albicans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the marine biofouling bacterium Bacillus pumilus. S. marcescens displayed biosurfactant activity as evidenced by drop collapse, blood hemolysis and surface tension reduction (52.0-27 mN m(-1)). The active compound was purified by solvent extraction and silicic acid chromatography. Characterization was by thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and (1)H as well as (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. The surfactant was found to be a glycolipid composed of glucose and palmitic acid. The glycolipid prevented adhesion of C. albicans BH, P. aeruginosa PAO1 and B. pumilus TiO1. The glycolipid also disrupted preformed biofilms of these cultures in microtitre plates. Confocal laser scanning microscopy and electron microscopy confirmed the effective removal of biofilms from glass surfaces. The glycolipid derived from S. marcescens could thus serve as a potential anti-biofilm agent.