Browsing by Author "van Rensburg, Wilma"
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- ItemCharacterization of natural antimicrobial peptides adsorbed to different matrices(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-12) van Rensburg, Wilma; Rautenbach, Marina; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Biochemistry.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Biofouling is the attachment and biofilm formation that leads to negative repercussions such as persistent post-harvest infections, infections obtained from medical implants and continual surface contamination of food processing plants. Much of the problem lies with the resistance that develops against conventional treatments due to the formation of mature biofilms. Thus the focus has shifted from the removal of biofilms to the prevention of initial attachment of organisms. This entails the use of antimicrobial surfaces that either have an inherent antimicrobial activity, e.g. certain metals, or surfaces that are modified by the attachment of antimicrobial agents. The attachment of antimicrobial agents can either be through covalent bonding or adsorption, depending on the intended use of the surface as well as the mode of action of the antimicrobial agent. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are ubiquitous in nature, tend to have a broad spectrum of activity, are very stable and have been shown to maintain activity when covalently bound to solid surfaces. Tyrocidines (Trcs), antimicrobial peptides produced by Bacillus aneurinolyticus, are cyclodecapeptides with a broad spectrum of activity against Grampositive bacteria, fungi, yeasts and the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial activity of surfaces treated with a tyrocidine extract, under which conditions the activity remained stable and to look into possible applications of these peptide-treated surfaces. The study focussed on different solid surfaces namely mixed cellulose, polyvinylidene fluoride, polycarbonate, cellulose acetate, cellulose (paper)(CL) and high density cellulose packing material (HDC), as a pilot study to assess the antimicrobial activity of Trc and gramicidin S (GS) treated solid surfaces. Peptide desorption and subsequent analysis by mass spectrometry was used to confirm the presence and integrity of the Trcs adsorbed. Scanning electron microscopy was utilised to show that the adsorbed peptides did not affect the structural integrity of the treated filters. However, it was shown that the adsorbed peptides changed the hydrophobic/hydrophilic character by means of a wettability assay. A cell viability assay and erythrocyte assay were developed from existing methodologies to determine the biological activity of the AMP-functionalised polymeric material. Seven of the AMP treated solid surfaces showed antimicrobial activity when challenged with >105 Micrococcus luteus cells/cm2. Although the polycarbonate filter lost antimicrobial activity at the high cell concentrations, it was shown to have potent antimicrobial activity at lower cell concentrations. Complete inhibition of M. luteus growth was observed for both the gramicidin S and tyrocidine extract treated high density cellulose and cellulose filters. Stability tests showed that the tyrocidines remained adsorbed to cellulose filters and biologically active when exposed multiple water washes, water washes at different temperatures (25°C - 100°C) and pH changes (pH 1-12). The antimicrobial activity was only affected after exposure to the water wash of pH 13 which is possible due to susceptibility of the CL filters to high pH solvents. A preliminary study on the effect of Trcs treated CL filters on the sterilization, germination and effect on tomato seedlings was conducted. It was found that Trcs had no effect on the germination and did not fully sterilise the seeds or environment against fungi. However, it was observed that 5 μg/mL Trcs treated filters promoted root length opposed to the toxic effect seen with filters treated with higher Trc concentrations. It is hypothesised that Trcs prefer to bind to hydrophilic surfaces exposing the hydrophobic residues and the cationic residue of the peptide to interact with the bacterial membrane to elicit its antimicrobial response. The exposed residues contain some of the hydrophobic residues and the cationic Orn9/Lys9, which are crucial to the antimicrobial activity of the peptides. Hydrophobic interaction is particularly important for the haemolytic activity which is currently the only viable method of detection of the adsorbed Trcs. Trcs also have a preference for adsorption onto cellulose and cellulose analogues which points to possible application in protective food wrapping and wood surface protection. Trcs maintains its antimicrobial activity regardless of adsorption to solid surfaces. It can therefore be concluded that Trcs treated solid surfaces hold great potential in preventing the initial bacterial colonization and subsequent biofilm formation. Antimicrobial peptide enriched solid surfaces can thus be developed and tailored to a specific application such as filters, catheters and packaging materials.