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Tissue Plasminogen Activator Coating on Implant Surfaces Reduces Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation

Journal article
Authors Jakub Kwiecinski
Manli Na
Anders Jarneborn
G. Jacobsson
M. Peetermans
P. Verhamme
Tao Jin
Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume 82
Issue 1
Pages 394-401
ISSN 0099-2240
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Pages 394-401
Language en
Keywords skin infections, disease, staphylothrombin, quantification, inhibition, severity, adhesion, strains, fibrin, Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology, Microbiology
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity, Microbiology in the medical area


Staphylococcus aureus biofilm infections of indwelling medical devices are a major medical challenge because of their high prevalence and antibiotic resistance. As fibrin plays an important role in S. aureus biofilm formation, we hypothesize that coating of the implant surface with fibrinolytic agents can be used as a new method of antibiofilm prophylaxis. The effect of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) coating on S. aureus biofilm formation was tested with in vitro microplate biofilm assays and an in vivo mouse model of biofilm infection. tPA coating efficiently inhibited biofilm formation by various S. aureus strains. The effect was dependent on plasminogen activation by tPA, leading to subsequent local fibrin cleavage. A tPA coating on implant surfaces prevented both early adhesion and later biomass accumulation. Furthermore, tPA coating increased the susceptibility of biofilm infections to antibiotics. In vivo, significantly fewer bacteria were detected on the surfaces of implants coated with tPA than on control implants from mice treated with cloxacillin. Fibrinolytic coatings (e.g., with tPA) reduce S. aureus biofilm formation both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a novel way to prevent bacterial biofilm infections of indwelling medical devices.

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