Quorum sensing-regulated functions of Serratia marcescens are reduced by eugenol
Background and Objectives: Serratia marcescens has emerged as a nosocomial pathogen responsible for human infections, where antibiotic resistance further complicates the treatments. In S. marcescens, biofilm formation and virulence factor production are controlled via quorum sensing (QS) system. QS is a signaling system that enables gene regulation to control diverse physiological functions in bacteria. Essential oils have shown to be potential in diminishing the pathogenicity and virulence of drug-resistant bacteria. This study was performed to determine whether eugenol would affect QS system, biofilm formation and virulence factor production of S. marcescens.
Materials and Methods: Biofilm formation, extracellular virulence factor production (hemolysin and protease), swarming motility and pigment formation of S. marcescens ATCC 13880 and S. marcescens Sm2 were assessed after eugenol exposure at 1.25 and 2.5 µg/ml concentrations. The expression of genes involved in motility (flhD), attachment (fimC), biofilm formation (bsmB, bsmA), and QS regulatory (swrR) were also evaluated.
Results: Eugenol treatment at 1.25 and 2.5 µg/ml concentrations caused a significant reduction in biofilm formation. The pigment, hemolysin and protease production of two studied S. marcescens strains, also reduced significantly by eugenol treatments (p<0.05). The bsmA, bsmB, flhD and fimC genes were down-regulated after eugenol treatment. The swrR gene expression was also reduced significantly by eugenol in both S. marcescens strains (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Eugenol inhibited quorum sensing-regulated functions of two studied S. marcescens strains.
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