Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Microbiology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Inhibiting biofilm formation by Klebsiella pneumoniae B5055 using an iron antagonizing molecule and a bacteriophage

Sanjay Chhibber*, Deepika Nag and Shruti Bansal

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, Basic Medical Sciences (BMS) Block, Panjab University, 160014 Chandigarh, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:174  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-174

Published: 26 July 2013



Success of biofilm dwelling bacteria in causing persistent and chronic infections is attributed to their resistance towards antibiotics and immune defences. Free iron is critical for the growth of biofilm associated bacteria. Therefore in the present study, the effect of limiting iron levels by addition of divalent Co[II] ions in combination with a bacteriophage was used for preventing/disrupting Klebsiella pneumoniae biofilms.


A significantly higher reduction (pā€‰<ā€‰0.005) in bacterial numbers in the younger as well as older biofilms treated with Co[II] and depolymerase producing phage in combination was observed in comparison to when either of the agents was used alone. The role of phage borne depolymerase was confirmed, as an insignificant eradication of biofilm by non-depolymerase producing bacteriophage in combination with cobalt ions was observed. The results of viable count were further confirmed by visual examination of biofilms.


From the study it can be concluded, that iron antagonizing molecules and bacteriophages can be used as adjunct therapy for preventing biofilm development.

Resistance; Treatment; Phage depolymerase; Adjunct; Alternate therapy