Evaluation of biofilm formation by bacterial strains isolated from milking equipment and milk samples from cows with mastitis

Laura Gonçalves da Silva Chagas, Poliana de Castro Melo, Silvia Cassimiro Brasão, Gabriela Bim Ramos Silvestre, Ednaldo Carvalho Guimarães, Anna Monteiro Correia Lima


The presence of biofilm-forming bacteria from the mammary gland of dairy cows adhered to equipment in the milking environment represents one of the major causes of bacterial resistance during mastitis treatment. The aim of this study was to identify strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli in milk samples from cows with mastitis, as well as in the expansion tank and milking set liners. We aimed to quantify the extracellular proteins and polysaccharides in the biofilm produced by each strain. A total of 294 samples were collected from a dairy farm in the municipality of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais. To identify the S. aureus, S. epidermidis and E. coli isolates responsible for biofilm production, we tested the phenotype using the Congo red agar (CRA) and microplate adhesion tests. Protein quantification was performed with a Bicinchoninic Acid Protein Assay Kit (BCA kit), and polysaccharides were quantified by the phenol sulfuric acid method. We identified eight strains of S. aureus, one strain of S. epidermidis and 11 strains of E. coli responsible for biofilm production, all of which showed a higher concentration of polysaccharides than proteins in the matrix. Escherichia coli was considered the most prevalent bacterium among the samples, and S. aureus was determined to be the largest biofilm producer. The results of the CRA and microplate adhesion tests were similar in regard to identification of the biofilm-producing strains according to their phenotype and matrix composition. The classification of S. aureus strains as major biofilm producers is of great concern for producers, as such bacteria are considered one of the predominant contagious etiological agents that cause bovine mastitis. In addition, our observation that E. coli and S. epidermidis can produce biofilms highlights the need to reassess prophylactic measures to avoid the adhesion of biofilm-producing bacteria.


Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcus epidermidis; Escherichia coli; Dairy cows.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2017v38n4p1887

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional