Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.5, 1871-1881, 2020
Prevention of biofilm formation by quorum quenching
Quorum sensing (QS) is a mechanism that enables microbial communication. It is based on the constant secretion of signaling molecules to the environment. The main role of QS is the regulation of vital processes in the cell such as virulence factor production or biofilm formation. Due to still growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics that have been overused, it is necessary to search for alternative antimicrobial therapies. One of them is quorum quenching (QQ) that disrupts microbial communication. QQ-driving molecules can decrease or even completely inhibit the production of virulence factors (including biofilm formation). There are few QQ strategies that comprise the use of the structural analogues of QS receptor autoinductors (AI). They may be found in nature or be designed and synthesized via chemical engineering. Many of the characterized QQ molecules are enzymes with the ability to degrade signaling molecules. They can also impede cellular signaling cascades. There are different techniques used for testing QS/QQ, including chromatography-mass spectroscopy, bioluminescence, chemiluminescence, fluorescence, electrochemistry, and colorimetry. They all enable qualitative and quantitative measurements of QS/QQ molecules. This article gathers the information about the mechanisms of QS and QQ, and their effect on microbial biofilm formation. Basic methods used to study QS/QQ, as well as the medical and biotechnological applications of QQ, are also described. Basis research methods are also described as well as medical and biotechnological application.