BioScience Trends. 2012;6(4):160-164. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2012.v6.4.160)

Lipase, protease, and biofilm as the major virulence factors in staphylococci isolated from acne lesions.

Saising J, Singdam S, Ongsakul M, Voravuthikunchai SP


Staphylococci involve infections in association with a number of bacterial virulence factors. Extracellular enzymes play an important role in staphylococcal pathogenesis. In addition, biofilm is known to be associated with their virulence. In this study, 149 staphylococcal isolates from acne lesions were investigated for their virulence factors including lipase, protease, and biofilm formation. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were demonstrated to present lipase and protease activities more often than coagulase-positive staphylococci. A microtiter plate method (quantitative method) and a Congo red agar method (qualitative method) were comparatively employed to assess biofilm formation. In addition, biofilm forming ability was commonly detected in a coagulase-negative group (97.7%, microtiter plate method and 84.7%, Congo red agar method) more frequently than in coagulase-positive organisms (68.8%, microtiter plate method and 62.5%, Congo red agar method). This study clearly confirms an important role for biofilm in coagulasenegative staphylococci which is of serious concern as a considerable infectious agent in patients with acnes and implanted medical devices. The Congo red agar method proved to be an easy method to quickly detect biofilm producers. Sensitivity of the Congo red agar method was 85.54% and 68.18% and accuracy was 84.7% and 62.5% in coagulase-negative and coagulase-positive staphylococci, respectively, while specificity was 50% in both groups. The results clearly demonstrated that a higher percentage of coagulasenegative staphylococci isolated from acne lesions exhibited lipase and protease activities, as well as biofilm formation, than coagulase-positive staphylococci.

KEYWORDS: Biofilm, lipase, protease, staphylococci, acne

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