Mycoplasma biofilms ex vivo and in vivo

Academic Article


  • Biofilms are communities of microorganisms that are encased in polymeric matrixes and grow attached to biotic or abiotic surfaces. Despite their enhanced ability to resist antimicrobials and components of the immune system in vitro, few studies have addressed the interactions of biofilms with the host at the organ level. Although mycoplasmas have been shown to form biofilms on glass and plastic surfaces, it has not been determined whether they form biofilms on the tracheal epithelium. We developed a tracheal organ-mounting system that allowed the entire surface of the tracheal lumen to be scanned using fluorescence microscopy. We observed the biofilms formed by the murine respiratory pathogen Mycoplasma pulmonis on the epithelium of trachea in tracheal organ culture and in experimentally infected mice and found similar structure and biological characteristics as biofilms formed in vitro. This tracheal organ-mounting system can be used to study interactions between biofilms formed by respiratory pathogens and the host epithelium and to identify the factors that contribute to biofilm formation in vivo. © 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Simmons WL; Dybvig K
  • Start Page

  • 77
  • End Page

  • 81
  • Volume

  • 295
  • Issue

  • 1