Adhesive and hydrophobic properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas cedrina associated with cosmetics

Julia Zabielska, Alina Kunicka-Styczyńska, Anna Otlewska



The presence of bacteria in the cosmetic production environment is often connected with non-sterile raw materials, inappropriate production lines disinfection or cross contamination. Among bacteria isolated from the environment, opportunistic pathogens can be also found, posing a risk to patients with lowered immunity. Moreover, their susceptibility to antibiotics and disinfectants is frequently decreased as they develop more complex forms - biofilms. As hydrophobicity and adhesive properties play a vital role in the colonization process the aim of this research was to determine hydrophobic, aggregative and adhesive properties of bacteria isolated from the cosmetics.

Bacteria used in the research were isolated from the body balm and the cosmetic preservative (three strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and four strains of Pseudomonas cedrina) and identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. For those strains and also two reference strains (P. aeruginosa ATCC15442 and P. cedrina DSM17516) an aggregation test, hydrophobicity by two different methods (SAT and MATH) and adhesion to polystyrene by crystal violet binding assay were performed.

According to the SAT method more than half of the tested strains were strongly hydrophobic. Using MATH test, it was proved that four strains (P. cedrina DSM17516 and three isolates of P. aeruginosa) were strong hydrophobes, however, the rest of the strains expressed moderate hydrophobicity. Moreover, self-aggregation was also observed and for P. aeruginosa CFII was more than 20%. All of the strains were able to adhere to polystyrene after 30 minutes contact, almost all of them (excluding P. cedrina DSM17516) indicated a moderate adhesion already after four hours of incubation. These results indicate that environmental Pseudomonas strains possess strong hydrophobic and adhesive properties, that may results in a colonization of abiotic surfaces.


Pseudomonas; cosmetic contamination; hydrophobicity; adhesion; biofilm

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