Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Responses of Salmonella biofilms to oxidizing biocides: evidence of spatial clustering

Guest, Kerry, Whalley, Thomas, Maillard, Jean‐Yves ORCID:, Artemiou, Andreas ORCID:, Szomolay, Barbara ORCID: and Webber, Mark A. 2022. Responses of Salmonella biofilms to oxidizing biocides: evidence of spatial clustering. Environmental Microbiology 24 (12) , pp. 6426-6438. 10.1111/1462-2920.16263

[thumbnail of 1462-2920.16263.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


The spatial organization of biofilm bacterial communities can be influenced by several factors, including growth conditions and challenge with antimicrobials. Differential survival of clusters of cells within biofilms has been observed. In this work, we present a variety of methods to identify, quantify and statistically analyse clusters of live cells from images of two Salmonella strains with differential biofilm forming capacity exposed to three oxidizing biocides. With a support vector machine approach, we showed spatial separation between the two strains, and, using statistical testing and high‐performance computing (HPC), we determined conditions which possess an inherent cluster structure. Our results indicate that there is a relationship between biocide potency and inherent biofilm formation capacity with the tendency to select for spatial clusters of survivors. There was no relationship between positions of clusters of live or dead cells within stressed biofilms. This work identifies an approach to robustly quantify clusters of physiologically distinct cells within biofilms and suggests work to understand how clusters form and survive is needed. Significance statement: Control of biofilm growth remains a major challenge and there is considerable uncertainty about how bacteria respond to disinfection within a biofilm and how clustering of cells impacts survival. We have developed a methodological approach to identify and statistically analyse clusters of surviving cells in biofilms after biocide challenge. This approach can be used to understand bacterial behaviour within biofilms under stress and is widely applicable.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Mathematics
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Society for Applied Microbiology
ISSN: 1462-2912
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 October 2022
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 21:24

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics