Volume 63 (2017) Issue 6 Pages 325-338
In the form of biofilms, bacteria exhibit more resistance to antibiotics. Biofilm formers can withstand severe conditions and the host’s defense system. Therefore, it is necessary to search for effective biofilm inhibitors. In this study, we investigated the effect of a chloroform extract of turmeric on biofilm formation against antibiotic resistant bacteria. The extract exhibited its antibiofilm effect by altering adherence, motility, extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) production and cell surface hydrophobicity; important attributes of biofilm formation. Cell attachment assays indicated that a chloroform extract resulted in a 38.9–60.2% inhibition of cell adherence to a polystyrene surface, and a 44.5–58.3% inhibition to a glass surface. Static biofilm formation assays indicated that a chloroform extract resulted in a 23–74.5% reduction in biofilm formation. The chloroform extract inhibited flagella-directed swarming and swimming motility and pilus-directed twitching motility in a dose-dependent manner. In addition to repression of motility, a chloroform extract also significantly (p < 0.05) altered the hydrophobic behavior, and bacterial strains such as K. pneumoniae and E. cloacae exhibited hydrophilic behavior after the addition of the extract, as compared with control cells. The presence of the extract also significantly (p < 0.05) increased the detachment of biofilms by a surfactant as compared with controls. Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) had indicated a loss of vital functional groups of polysaccharides and proteins from the EPS of cells treated with a chloroform extract. Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis indicated the presence of many phytochemical constituents, mainly sesquiterpenes and fatty acid groups. These results clearly suggested that turmeric could affect multiple cellular activities in biofilm formers exhibiting antibiotic resistance by modulating adherence, EPS production, motility and surface hydrophobicity.