- AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY
Biofilm formation has been associated with bacterial pathogenesis, such as nosocomial and chronic infections, as the resistance of biofilms to environmental stresses has increased. Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive spore-forming anaerobic pathogen. This organism survives antibiotic treatment through the formation of biofilms or spores, but the environmental and regulatory factors involved in the biofilm formation remain unclear. Here, we observed that temperature regulates C. perfringens biofilm morphology. At 37 degrees C, C. perfringens adhered to the substrate surface and formed a flat, thin biofilm, herein referred to as adhered biofilm. However, at 25 degrees C, this bacterium did not adhere and produced a threadlike extracellular matrix, forming a viscous, thick biofilm, herein referred to as pellicle biofilm. Pellicle biofilm formation requires the sporulation master regulator, Spo0A, and the toxin regulator, CtrAB, and is enhanced in the absence of the global repressor, AbrB. These transcriptional regulator genes are regulated by each other and temperature. Adhered-biofilm formation requires AbrB and pilA2, which encodes a component of type IV pili (TFP). TFP expression was activated at 37 degrees C and regulated through Spo0A, AbrB, and CtrAB. These results indicate that the morphology of C. perfringens biofilm is dependent on temperature through the differential production of extracellular matrix and the activity of TFP. Moreover, pellicle biofilm formation is involved in sporulation and toxin production. Here, we demonstrated that clostridial biofilm formation is closely associated with sporulation and that the morphological change of the biofilms could play an important role in the pathogenesis of this organism.
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