Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Microbiol. 2005 Jan;13(1):34-40.

Survival strategies of infectious biofilms.

Author information

  • 1Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, 366 EPS Building - P.O. Box 173980, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA. christopher.fux@insel.ch

Abstract

Modern medicine is facing the spread of biofilm-related infections. Bacterial biofilms are difficult to detect in routine diagnostics and are inherently tolerant to host defenses and antibiotic therapies. In addition, biofilms facilitate the spread of antibiotic resistance by promoting horizontal gene transfer. We review current concepts of biofilm tolerance with special emphasis on the role of the biofilm matrix and the physiology of biofilm-embedded cells. The heterogeneity in metabolic and reproductive activity within a biofilm correlates with a non-uniform susceptibility of enclosed bacteria. Recent studies have documented similar heterogeneity in planktonic cultures. Nutritional starvation and high cell density, two key characteristics of biofilm physiology, also mediate antimicrobial tolerance in stationary-phase planktonic cultures. Advances in characterizing the role of stress response genes, quorum sensing and phase variation in stationary-phase planktonic cultures have shed new light on tolerance mechanisms within biofilm communities.

PMID:
15639630
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk