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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2003 Dec;1(4):667-83.

Bacterial biofilms: a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.

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  • 1Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, USA.


Bacteria have traditionally been regarded as individual organisms growing in homogeneous planktonic populations. However, bacteria in natural environments usually form communities of surface-adherent organisms embedded in an extracellular matrix, called biofilms. Current antimicrobial strategies often fail to control bacteria in the biofilm mode of growth. Treatment failure is particularly frequent in association with intracorporeal or transcutaneous medical devices and compromised host immunity. The rising prevalence of these risk factors over the last decades has paralleled the increase in biofilm infections. This review discusses the shortcomings of current therapies against biofilms both in theory and with clinical examples. Biofilm characteristics are described with a focus on new diagnostic and therapeutic targets.

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