Induction of a Stress Protein in Eubacterium biforme by the Surfactant CTAB

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Keith, Ronald C. ; John, Gilbert H. (2011)
  • Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
  • Journal: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (issn: 1651-2235)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/mehd.v13i4.8028

Surfactants are commonly used in various operations, and their disposal and accumulation in raw sludge has been linked to ground water contamination. This study examined the interaction between human intestinal microflora and hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), a common surfactant used in many research laboratories and industry. Fourteen strains of intestinal bacteria were grown under anaerobic conditions in the presence of CTAB. Eubacterium biforme was the only strain to tolerate high concentrations of CTAB. High concentrations of CTAB resulted in the induction of a stress-protein, similar to the heat shock-protein E. coli DnaK. This finding is unique in that a heat-shock protein was induced by a surfactant in a major human intestinal bacterium. This indicates that the heat-shock protein DnaK may play an important role in surfactant interaction and resistance in sludge and within the intestine.Keywords: eubacteria, stress response, surfactant.
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