Biofilm Formation, gel and esp Gene Carriage among Recreational Beach Enterococci

  •  Ahmad Asmat    
  •  Ayokunle Dada    
  •  Usup Gires    


Biofilm production, gel and esp gene carriage was enumerated among forty six vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) and vancomycin susceptible enterococci (VSE) beach isolates. A higher proportion (61.54%) of biofilm producers was observed among beach sand as compared to beach water enterococci isolates (30%) indicating that enterococci within the sand column may be more dependent on biofilm production for survival than their beach water counterparts. Correlation analysis revealed strongly negative correlation (r=-0.535, p=0.015) between vancomycin resistance and biofilm formation. Given the observation of high prevalence of biofilm production among beach sand and the concomitant absence of esp gene carriage in any of the isolate, esp gene carriage may not be necessary for the production of biofilms among beach sand isolates. On the whole beach sand and water isolates demonstrated clearly different prevalence levels of vancomycin resistance, biofilm formation, esp and gel gene carriage. Application of these differences may be found useful in beach microbial source tracking studies. Tested starved cells still produced biofilm albeit at lower efficiencies. Non-dividing enterococci in beach sand can survive extended periods of environmental hardship and can resume growth or biofilm production in appropriate conditions thus making them infectious agents with potential health risk to recreational beach users.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.