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Moraxella bovis, Moraxella ovis and Moraxella bovoculi: biofilm formation and lysozyme activity

Ely, V.L., Vargas, A.C., Costa, M.M., Oliveira, H.P., Pötter, L., Reghelin, M.A., Fernandes, A.W., Pereira, D.I.B., Sangioni, L.A., Botton, S.A.
Journal of applied microbiology 2019 v.126 no.2 pp. 369-376
Moraxella bovis, Moraxella bovoculi, Moraxella ovis, antibacterial properties, biofilm, cattle, conjunctiva, herds, lysozyme, microorganisms, plankton, scanning electron microscopes, scanning electron microscopy, sheep
AIMS: This study aimed to verify the formation of biofilms by Moraxella bovis, Moraxella ovis and Moraxella bovoculi isolates from ruminants. In addition, the lysozyme activity against the isolates of M. bovis, M. ovis and M. bovoculi in free form and in biofilms was determined. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, 54 isolates of Moraxella sp. obtained from bovine and ovine clinical samples were evaluated in vitro for capacity of biofilm formation and lysozyme susceptibility in planktonic and sessile cells. In addition, biofilms produced by four Moraxella sp. isolates were visualized under scanning electron microscope (SEM). It was possible to demonstrate, for the first time, the ability to form biofilms by M. ovis and M. bovoculi. The isolates of Moraxella sp. have the capacity to form biofilms in different intensities, varying among weak, moderate and strong. It was verified that the lysozyme shows activity on Moraxella sp. in planktonic form. However, on biofilms there was a reduction in the production, but without impairing its formation, and on consolidated biofilms the lysozyme did not have the capacity to eradicate the preformed biofilms. CONCLUSIONS: This work shows the capacity of biofilm formation by Moraxella sp. of veterinary importance. The lysozyme susceptibility of Moraxella sp. in planktonic form shows that this enzyme has bacteriostatic activity on this micro‐organism and it reduced the production of biofilms. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Based on the results, it is possible to infer that the biofilm formation capacity by Moraxella sp. and the resistance to lysozyme concentrations equal to or greater than the physiological levels of the ruminant tear may be linked not only to the capacity to colonize the conjunctiva, but also to remain in this place even after healing of the lesions, being a reservoir of Moraxella sp. in a herd.