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Immunology and Infection

Determination of Biofilm Initiation on Virus-infected Cells by Bacteria and Fungi

Published: July 6th, 2016



1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Midwestern University

A method is described herein for the determination of inter-Kingdom association and competition (bacterial and fungal) for adherence to virus-infected HeLa cell monolayers. This protocol can be extended to multiple combinations of prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and viruses.

The study of polymicrobial interactions across the taxonomic kingdoms that include fungi, bacteria and virus have not been previously examined with respect to how viral members of the microbiome affect subsequent microbe interactions with these virus-infected host cells. The co-habitation of virus with bacteria and fungi is principally present on the mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity and genital tract. Mucosal cells, particularly those with persistent chronic or persistent latent viral infections, could have a significant impact on members of the microbiome through virus alteration in number and type of receptors expressed. Modification in host cell membrane architecture would result in altered ability of subsequent members of the normal flora and opportunistic pathogens to initiate the first step in biofilm formation, i.e., adherence. This study describes a method for quantitation and visual examination of HSV's effect on the initiation of biofilm formation (adherence) of S. aureus and C. albicans.

The human microbiome includes diverse organisms from multiple taxonomic kingdoms that share geographic regions in the body. Adherence to cell surfaces is an essential first step in biofilm formation, which is part of the microbiome colonization process. Included in the microbiome can be viruses that cause chronic and persistent infections. The chronic cell infection by these viruses can cause an alteration in putative receptor availability.1,2 In addition, cell entry by intracellular pathogens could also affect host membrane fluidity/hydrophobicity which in turn may alter attachment of other microbiome members, including bacteria and fungi. In order to unde....

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1. HSV Strains and Handling

Note: Recombinant non-spreading HSV-1(KOS) gL86 and HSV-2 (KOS) 333gJ- with beta-galactosidase reporter activity used were provided by V. Twiari36,37.

  1. Use virus from a single lot and store at -80 °C at a 1:1 ratio of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) with 20% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and skim milk until use. Before viral lot storage, determine virus concentration by o-nitrophenyl-β-D-galactopyranoside (ONPG) and 5-brom.......

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The level of robustness of data obtainable from system described in this report is shown in Figure 2 a-f 38. Through the use of this system the modulation of staphylococcal and fungal interaction with virally infected cells and their effect on each other's adherence can be delineated. These types of studies require microscopic examination of the interaction as shown in Figures 3 and 4 38 in order to determine whe.......

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Currently no information is available on complex interactions between permanent to semi-permanent members of the host microbiome that cross multiple taxonomic domains, i.e., prokaryotic, eukaryotic and viral. Therefore we developed a novel in vitro model system to study biofilm initiation by S. aureus and C. albicans on HSV-1 or HSV-2 infected HeLa 229 (HeLa) cells 38. The HeLa cell model system presents a unique advantage. This is due to their lack of surface fibronectin ex.......

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This project was supported by Midwestern University, IL Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) and Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Illinois (CDMI).


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
BBL Sabouraud Dextrose BD 211584
Fungisel Agar Dot Scientific 7205A
Mannitol Salt Agar Troy Biologicals 7143B
Sheep blood agar Troy Biologicals 221239
Hela cells
1xDMEM (Dubelcco's Modified Eagle Medium, with 4.5 g/L glucose and L-glutamine, without sodium pyruvate Corning 10-017-CM
Gentamicin 50mg/ml Sigma 1397 50µg/ml final concentration in the complete DMEM
Trypsin EDTA (0.05% Trypsin, 0.53M EDTA)Solution 1X Corning 25-052-CI
Fetal Bovine Serum Atlanta Biologicals S11150 10% final concentration in the complete DMEM
Other medium and reagents
ONPG Thermo Scientific 34055
Ultra-Pure X gal Invitrogen 15520-018
1x HBSS (Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution) Corning 20-021-CV
1XPBS Dot Scientific 30042-500
RIPA Lysis Life Technologies 89901
Methanol Fisher Scientific A433P-4
HSV 1&2, specific for gD ViroStat 196
Gram Crystal Violet Troy Biologicals 212527
Petri dish 100X15 Dot Scientific 229693 
Petri dish 150X15 Kord Valmark 2902
96-Well plates Evergreen Scientific 222-8030-01F
24-well plates Evergreen Scientific 222-8044-01F
Culture tubes 100x13 Thomas Scientific 9187L61
Cover slip circles, 12mm Deckglaser CB00120RA1

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