Cell surface hydrophobicity of colistin-susceptible vs resistant Acinetobacter baumannii determined by contact angles: methodological considerations and implications

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Contact angle analysis of cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) describes the tendency of a water droplet to spread across a lawn of filtered bacterial cells. Colistin-induced disruption of the Gram-negative outer membrane necessitates hydrophobic contacts with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We aimed to characterize the CSH of Acinetobacter baumannii using contact angles, to provide insight into the mechanism of colistin resistance. Contact angles were analysed for five paired colistin-susceptible and resistant Ac. baumannii strains. Drainage of the water droplet through bacterial layers was demonstrated to influence results. Consequently, measurements were performed 0?66s after droplet deposition. Colistin-resistant cells exhibited lower contact angles (38?8?2?8-46?8?1?3?) compared with their paired colistin-susceptible strains (40?7?3?0-48?0?1?4?; anova; P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940 - 951
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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