Exopolysaccharide production by Staphylococcus epidermidis and its relationship with biofilm extracellular DNA

Davide Campoccia, Lucio Montanaro, Stefano Ravaioli, Valter Pirini, Ilaria Cangini, Carla Renata Arciola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implant-related infections are difficult to treat because they are very often associated with biofilmforming micro-organisms capable of resisting host immune defenses and surviving conventional antibiotic treatments. In Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm-forming strains, the polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA), whose expression is encoded by the icaADBC operon, is recognized as a main staphylococcal accumulation mechanism. Nevertheless, various observations have shown that PIA expression is dispensable and a variety of additional/alternative accumulation mechanisms, including extracellular DNA (eDNA) and several other factors of proteic nature, can compensate for icaADBC low expression or even for its absence. A suggestive hypothesis points to the possibility that changes in biofilm extracellular matrix composition can be induced in different environmental niches. In this study we aimed at investigating the relationship between the exopolysaccharide and eDNA biofilm components, screening 55 S. epidermidis clinical isolates by means of a simple fluorescence-based microtiter-plate assay. Our findings indicate the existence of a certain degree of correlation, although not a strict one, between eDNA and the exopolysaccharide component. The presence of exopolysaccharide greatly varied even in strains belonging to the same strain type determined by automated riboprinting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-839
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Biofilm
  • Exopolysaccharide
  • Extracellular DNA
  • Implant infections
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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