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Antimicrobial mechanism and the effect of atmospheric pressure N2 plasma jet on the regeneration capacity of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm

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journal contribution
posted on 27.11.2018, 05:14 by Jiaquan Wang, Zhiyuan Yu, Zimu Xu, Shuheng Hu, Yunxia Li, Xiaojuan Xue, Qiuchen Cai, Xiaoxia Zhou, Jie Shen, Yan Lan, Cheng Cheng

This study systematically assessed the inactivation mechanism on Staphylococcus aureus biofilms by a N2 atmospheric-pressure plasma jet and the effect on the biofilm regeneration capacity from the bacteria which survived, and their progenies. The total bacterial populations were 7.18 ± 0.34 log10 CFU ml−1 in biofilms and these were effectively inactivated (>5.5-log10 CFU ml−1) within 30 min of exposure. Meanwhile, >80% of the S. aureus biofilm cells lost their metabolic capacity. In comparison, ∼20% of the plasma-treated bacteria entered a viable but non-culturable state. Moreover, the percentage of membrane-intact bacteria declined to ∼30%. Scanning electron microscope images demonstrated cell shrinkage and deformation post-treatment. The total amount of intracellular reactive oxygen species was observed to have significantly increased in membrane-intact bacterial cells with increasing plasma dose. Notably, the N2 plasma treatment could effectively inhibit the biofilm regeneration ability of the bacteria which survived, leading to a long-term phenotypic response and dose-dependent inactivation effect on S. aureus biofilms, in addition to the direct rapid bactericidal effect.


This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers 51777206, 51541807, 41377246]; the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province [grant numbers 1708085MB47, 1708085MA13]; the Doctoral Fund of the Ministry of Education of China [number 2017M612058]; the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Hefei University of Technology [numbers JZ2016HGBZ0768, JZ2017HGBZ0944]; the Foundation of Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Medical Physics and Technology [grant number LMPT2017Y7BP0U1581]; and the Chinese Academy of Sciences [grant number DSJJ-14-YY02].