Exclusion of uropathogen adhesion to polymer surfaces by Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lesley Ann Hawthorn, Gregor Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The ability of bacteria to adhere to surfaces is a major cause of concern in the use of biomaterial substrates. The adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis strain 1938 was examined using image analysis and was found not to correlate with polymer surface tension, unlike that of Lactobacillus acidophilus, which adhered to more hydrophobic polymers. A fimbriated uropathogenic E. coli strain showed very low levels of adherence to the biomaterials. Precoating the polymers with lactobacilli significantly reduced the staphylococcal and E. coli adhesion, a result which could have clinical significance. An additional finding was that the interaction of staphylococci and E. coli with lactobacilli coated polymers altered the adhesion profile of the latter. Lactobacilli appeared to detach from polymers of low surface tension and reattach to polymers with high surface tensions. This resulted in the highest levels of exclusion of uropathogens being found for lactobacilli‐coated glass and sulfonated polystyrene, both of which are hydrophilic (with high surface tensions). These results demonstrate that lactobacilli can be used to coat biomaterial surfaces leading to a reduced adhesion of uropathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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