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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4020715, 10 pages
Research Article

Effects of Total Alkaloids of Sophora alopecuroides on Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus epidermidis

1Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for the Conservation and Utilization of Special Biological Resources of Western China, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China
2College of Life Science, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China
3Ningxia Key Laboratory of Clinical and Pathogenic Microbiology, General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750004, China

Received 2 April 2016; Revised 8 May 2016; Accepted 17 May 2016

Academic Editor: Carla R. Arciola

Copyright © 2016 Xue Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) is an opportunistic pathogen with low pathogenicity and a cause of the repeated outbreak of bovine mastitis in veterinary clinical settings. In this report, a biofilm model of S. epidermidis was generated and the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and sub-MIC (SMIC) on bacterial cultures were assessed for the following agents: total alkaloids of Sophora alopecuroides (TASA), ciprofloxacin (CIP), and erythromycin (ERY). The formation and characteristic parameters of biofilm were analyzed in terms of XTT assay, silver staining, and confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM). Results showed that a sub-MIC of TASA could inhibit 50% biofilm of bacterial activity, while 250-fold MIC of CIP and ERY MICs only inhibited 50% and 47% of biofilm formation, respectively. All three agents could inhibit the biofilm formation at an early stage, but TASA showed a better inhibitory effect on the late stage of biofilm thickening. A morphological analysis using CLSM further confirmed the destruction of biofilm by these agents. These results thus suggest that TASA has an inhibitory effect on biofilm formation of clinic S. epidermidis, which may be a potential agent warranted for further study on the treatment prevention of infection related to S. epidermidis in veterinary clinic.