The Best-Practice Organism for Single-Species Studies of Antimicrobial Efficacy against Biofilms Is Pseudomonas aeruginosa




Curtin, Anna M.
Thibodeau, Matthew C.
Buckley, Heather L.

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As potable water scarcity increases across the globe; it is imperative to identify energy and cost-effective processes for producing drinking-water from non-traditional sources. One established method is desalination of brackish and seawater via reverse osmosis (RO). However, the buildup of microorganisms at the water-membrane interface, known as biofouling, clogs RO membranes over time, increasing energy requirements and cost. To investigate biofouling mitigation methods, studies tend to focus on single-species biofilms; choice of organism is crucial to producing useful results. To determine a best-practice organism for studying antimicrobial treatment of biofilms, with specific interest in biofouling of RO membranes, we answered the following two questions, each via its own semi-systematic review: 1. Which organisms are commonly used to test antimicrobial efficacy against biofilms on RO membranes? 2. Which organisms are commonly identified via genetic analysis in biofilms on RO membranes? We then critically review the results of two semi-systematic reviews to identify pioneer organisms from the listed species. We focus on pioneer organisms because they initiate biofilm formation, therefore, inhibiting these organisms specifically may limit biofilm formation in the first place. Based on the analysis of the results, we recommend utilizing Pseudomonas aeruginosa for future single-species studies focused on biofilm treatment including, but not limited to, biofouling of RO membranes.



reverse osmosis, biofouling, single-species, prevention, semi-systemic review


Curtin, A. M., Thibodeau, M. C., & Buckley, H. L. (2020). The Best-Practice Organism for Single-Species Studies of Antimicrobial Efficacy against Biofilm Is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Membranes, 10(9), 1-17.