Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Impact of cranberry juice on initial adhesion of the EPS producing bacterium Burkholderia cepacia

Younjin Min, The University of Akron


The impact of cranberry juice was investigated with respect to the initial adhesion of three isogenic strains of the bacterium Burkholderia cepacia with different extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) producing capacities, viz. a wild-type cepacian EPS producer PC184 and its mutant strains PC184rml with reduced EPS production and PC184bceK with a deficiency in EPS production. Adhesion experiments conducted in a parallel-plate flow chamber demonstrated that, in the absence of cranberry juice, strain PC184 had a significantly higher adhesive capacity compared to the mutant strains. In the presence of cranberry juice, the adhesive capacity of the EPS-producing strain PC184 was largely reduced, while cranberry juice had little impact on the adhesion behavior of either mutant strain. Thermodynamic modeling supported the results from adhesion experiments. Surface force apparatus (SFA) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies demonstrated a strong association between cranberry juice components and bacterial EPS. It was concluded that cranberry juice components could impact bacterial initial adhesion by adhering to the EPS and impairing the adhesive capacity of the cells, which provides an insight into the development of novel treatment strategies to block the biofilm formation associated with bacterial infection.