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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 8194368, 15 pages
Research Article

Highlighting the Potency of Biosurfactants Produced by Pseudomonas Strains as Anti-Legionella Agents

1Laboratoire Ecologie & Biologie des Interactions, UMR CNRS 7267, Université de Poitiers, France
2Laboratoire Aliments Bioprocédés Toxicologie Environnements, EA 4651, Normandie Univ, UNICAEN, UNIROUEN, Caen, France
3Laboratoire de Microbiologie Signaux et Microenvironnement, EA 4312, Université de Rouen, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Julien Verdon; rf.sreitiop-vinu@nodrev.neiluj

Received 6 July 2018; Revised 12 September 2018; Accepted 27 September 2018; Published 22 October 2018

Academic Editor: Horacio Bach

Copyright © 2018 Clémence Loiseau 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.


Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease, is a waterborne bacterium mainly found in man-made water systems in close association with free-living amoebae and multispecies biofilms. Pseudomonas strains, originating from various environments including freshwater systems or isolated from hospitalized patients, were tested for their antagonistic activity towards L. pneumophila. A high amount of tested strains was thus found to be active. This antibacterial activity was correlated to the presence of tensioactive agents in culture supernatants. As Pseudomonas strains were known to produce biosurfactants, these compounds were specifically extracted and purified from active strains and further characterized using reverse-phase HPLC and mass spectrometry methods. Finally, all biosurfactants tested (lipopeptides and rhamnolipids) were found active and this activity was shown to be higher towards Legionella strains compared to various other bacteria. Therefore, described biosurfactants are potent anti-Legionella agents that could be used in the water treatment industry although tests are needed to evaluate how effective they would be under field conditions.