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Cigarette smoke exposure has a notable epidemiological association with respiratory tract infections and can often increase biofilm production in causal bacterial pathogens. As electronic cigarettes rise in popularity as alternatives to traditional cigarettes, similar impact on biofilm production in pathogenic bacteria due to exposure to electronic cigarette smoke vapor was possible. Using Staphylococcus aureus as a model organism, this study investigated the impact of exposure to electronic cigarette smoke extract from two popular electronic cigarette devices on biofilm formation. Electronic cigarette smoke extract from both Juul and Smok vaporizers were found to upregulate biofilm production patterns in Staphylococcus aureus, consistent with the findings of traditional cigarettes. This observed increase in biofilm production due to exposure to electronic cigarette smoke extract indicates a potential commonality across traditional and electronic cigarettes responsible for this phenotype, which should be investigated further across a wide range of electronic cigarette device brands, products, and bacterial strains. These findings indicate understandings surrounding the role that exposure to electronic cigarette smoke vapor may play in the pathogenesis of respiratory infection-causing bacteria, with particular significance for individuals with increased susceptibility to such infections.
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Brennessel, Lillian E., "Impact of Electronic Cigarette Smoke Vapor on Biofilm Production in Staphylococcus aureus" (2018). Senior Projects Spring 2018. 118.