The response of Escherichia coli biofilm to salicylic acid

In this research, salicylic acid is proposed as an alternative biocide-free agent suitable for a preventive or integrative anti-biofilm approach. Salicylic acid has been proved to: (1) reduce bacterial adhesion up to 68.1 ± 5.6%; (2) affect biofilm structural development, reducing viable biomass by 97.0 ± 0.7% and extracellular proteins and polysaccharides by 83.9 ± 2.5% and 49.5 ± 5.5% respectively; and (3) promote biofilm detachment 3.4 ± 0.6-fold. Moreover, salicylic acid treated biofilm showed an increased amount of intracellular (2.3 ± 0.2-fold) and extracellular (2.1 ± 0.3-fold) reactive oxygen species, and resulted in increased production of the quorum sensing signal indole (7.6 ± 1.4-fold). For the first time, experiments revealed that salicylic acid interacts with proteins that play a role in quorum sensing, reactive oxygen species accumulation, motility, extracellular polymeric matrix components, transport and metabolism.