Revista Argentina de Microbiología

Scavone, P., Iribarnegaray, V., González, M. J., Navarro, N., Caneles-Huerta, N., Jara-Wilde, J., … & Zunino, P. (2023).

Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis) is a common etiological agent of urinary tract infections, particularly those associated with catheterization. P. mirabilis efficiently forms biofilms on different surfaces and shows a multicellular behavior called ‘swarming’, mediated by flagella. To date, the role of flagella in P. mirabilis biofilm formation has been under debate. In this study, we assessed the role of P. mirabilis flagella in biofilm formation using an isogenic allelic replacement mutant unable to express flagellin. Different approaches were used, such as the evaluation of cell surface hydrophobicity, bacterial motility and migration across catheter sections, measurements of biofilm biomass and biofilm dynamics by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy in static and flow models. Our findings indicate that P. mirabilis flagella play a role in biofilm formation, although their lack does not completely avoid biofilm generation. Our data suggest that impairment of flagellar function can contribute to biofilm prevention in the context of strategies focused on particular bacterial targets.