Targeting Bacterial Biofilms Using Probiotics and Medicinal Plant Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract: A Comparative Study

*Corresponding author: Shruthi Aravindan*

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original research

Abstract

Introduction

Biofilms are a significant threat to public health as they form on medical devices, wastewater pipes, human tissue, and stagnant water bodies. The primary reason biofilms are hard to combat is the bacterial interactions that take place within the biofilm through quorum sensing (QS), a form of cell-to-cell communication that plays a crucial role in the formation of biofilms. The QS controls biofilm formation to increase cooperation and stabilize the biofilm and increased interactions between the bacterial cells, make the biofilms harder to destroy. The aggregates of cells in the biofilm are not susceptible to drugs. The slow dividing cells are less susceptible to antibiotics.

Objectives

The aim of this comparative study is to research the potential and effectiveness of treatments to combat the growth of biofilm formed by Escherichia coli and Enterobacter aerogenes by using two approaches: medicinal plant extract of Taraxacum officinale and probiotics.

Methodology

This was a comparative study in which bacterial biofilms of E. coli and E. aerogenes were grown. Each biofilm was treated with a probiotic solution or Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) extract. The effectiveness of each treatment was measured through zones of isolation.

Results

A standard t-test was run to compare the results of two groups of means for each bacteria. For E. aerogenes, the probiotic solution was more effective than dandelion extract with a t-value of 5.5 and a p-value of 0.0003, which is less than a p-value of 0.05. For E. coli, the probiotic solution was more effective than dandelion extract with a t-value of 6.5, and the p-value is less than 0.05. Results show that the probiotics treatment was more effective in destroying the biofilms than the Taraxacum officinale extract, but both treatments showed effective bactericidal properties.

Conclusion

Data from the trials were compared to traditional antibiotics for each of the bacteria, E. coli and E. aerogenes. These two methods of destruction are possible solutions to the threat the biofilms pose. If these research methods prove to be effective, they will be instrumental in combating the biofilms that lead to complications. These are promising solutions for reverting the threat that biofilms pose to public health and ecosystems.

Keywords

Bacteria; Biofilms; Extract; Public health; Quorum sensing.