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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9584703, 10 pages
Research Article

Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Formation by Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herb Herba patriniae

1Key Laboratory of Resources Biology and Biotechnology in Western China, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710069, China
2Department of Oral Biology & Medical Microbiology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 780 Bannatyne Ave., Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 0W2

Correspondence should be addressed to Lixin Shen and Kangmin Duan

Received 16 August 2016; Accepted 5 January 2017; Published 9 March 2017

Academic Editor: P. Nithyanand

Copyright © 2017 Bo Fu 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.


New antimicrobial agents are urgently needed to treat infections caused by drug-resistant pathogens and by pathogens capable of persisting in biofilms. The aim of this study was to identify traditional Chinese herbs that could inhibit biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important human pathogen that causes serious and difficult-to-treat infections in humans. A luxCDABE-based reporter system was constructed to monitor the expression of six key biofilm-associated genes in P. aeruginosa. The reporters were used to screen a library of 36 herb extracts for inhibitory properties against these genes. The results obtained indicated that the extract of Herba patriniae displayed significant inhibitory effect on almost all of these biofilm-associated genes. Quantitative analysis showed that H. patriniae extract was able to significantly reduce the biofilm formation and dramatically altered the structure of the mature biofilms of P. aeruginosa. Further studies showed H. patriniae extract decreased exopolysaccharide production by P. aeruginosa and promoted its swarming motility, two features disparately associated with biofilm formation. These results provided a potential mechanism for the use of H. patriniae to treat bacterial infections by traditional Chinese medicines and revealed a promising candidate for exploration of new drugs against P. aeruginosa biofilm-associated infections.