Bacillus-based probiotic cleansers reduce the formation of dry biofilms on common hospital surfaces

Richard Wormald, Paul Humphreys, Christopher Charles, Simon Rout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the absence of liquid suspension, dry biofilms can form upon hard surfaces within a hospital environment, representing a healthcare-associated infection risk. Probiotic cleansers using generally recognized as safe organisms, such as those of the Bacillus genus, represent a potential strategy for the reduction of dry biofilm bioburden. The mechanisms of action and efficacy of these cleaners are, however, poorly understood. To address this, a preventative dry biofilm assay was developed using steel, melamine, and ceramic surfaces to assess the ability of a commercially available Bacillus spp. based probiotic cleanser to reduce the surface bioburden of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Via this assay, phosphate-buffered saline controls were able to generate dry biofilms within 7 days of incubation, with the application of the probiotic cleanser able to prevent >97.7% of dry biofilm formation across both pathogen analogs and surface types. Further to this, surfaces treated with the probiotic mixture alone also showed a reduction in dry biofilm across both pathogen and surface types. Confocal laser scanning microscopy imaging indicated that the probiotic bacteria were able to germinate and colonize surfaces, likely forming a protective layer upon these hard surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1391
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Early online date22 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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