Pseudomonas aeruginosa dominates the complex polymicrobial cystic fibrosis (CF) airway and is a leading cause of death in persons with CF. Oral streptococcal colonization has been associated with stable CF lung function. However, no studies have demonstrated how Streptococcus salivarius, the most abundant streptococcal species found in individuals with stable CF lung disease, potentially improves lung function or becomes incorporated into the CF airway biofilm. By utilizing a two-species biofilm model to probe interactions between S. salivarius and P. aeruginosa, we discovered that the P. aeruginosa exopolysaccharide Psl promoted S. salivarius biofilm formation. Further, we identified a S. salivarius maltose-binding protein (MalE) that is required for promotion of biofilm formation both in vitro and in a Drosophila melanogaster co-infection model. Finally, we demonstrate that promotion of dual biofilm formation with S. salivarius is common among environmental and clinical P. aeruginosa isolates. Overall, our data supports a model in which S. salivarius uses a sugar-binding protein to interact with P. aeruginosa exopolysaccharide, which may be a strategy by which S. salivarius establishes itself within the CF airway microbial community.
© 2022. The Author(s).