Virulence targeted inhibitory effect of linalool against the exclusive uropathogen Proteus mirabilis

Proteus mirabilis is one of the leading causes of catheter-associated UTIs (CAUTI) in individuals with prolonged urinary catheterization. Since, biofilm assisted antibiotic resistance is reported to complicate the treatment strategies of P. mirabilis infections, the present study was aimed to attenuate biofilm and virulence factor production in P. mirabilis. Linalool is a naturally occurring monoterpene alcohol found in a wide range of flowers and spice plants and has many biological applications. In this study, linalool exhibited concentration dependent anti-biofilm activity against crystalline biofilm of P. mirabilis through reduced production of the virulence enzyme urease that raises the urinary pH and drives the formation of crystals (struvite) in the biofilm. The results of q-PCR analysis unveiled the down regulation of biofilm/virulence associated genes upon linalool treatment, which was in correspondence with the in vitro bioassays. Thus, this study reports the feasibility of linalool acting as a promising anti-biofilm agent against P. mirabilis mediated CAUTI.