Serum albumin and osmolality inhibit Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus predation in human serum.
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Scientific reports, ISSN: 2045-2322, Vol: 7, Issue: 1, Page: 5896
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We evaluated the bactericidal activity of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, strain HD100, within blood sera against bacterial strains commonly associated with bacteremic infections, including E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica. Tests show that B. bacteriovorus HD100 is not susceptible to serum complement or its bactericidal activity. After a two hour exposure to human sera, the prey populations decreased 15- to 7,300-fold due to the serum complement activity while, in contrast, the B. bacteriovorus HD100 population showed a loss of only 33%. Dot blot analyses showed that this is not due to the absence of antibodies against this predator. Predation in human serum was inhibited, though, by both the osmolality and serum albumin. The activity of B. bacteriovorus HD100 showed a sharp transition between 200 and 250 mOsm/kg, and was progressively reduced as the osmolality increased. Serum albumin also acted to inhibit predation by binding to and coating the predatory cells. This was confirmed via dot blot analyses and confocal microscopy. The results from both the osmolality and serum albumin tests were incorporated into a numerical model describing bacterial predation of pathogens. In conclusion, both of these factors inhibit predation and, as such, they limit its effectiveness against pathogenic prey located within sera.