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J Cyst Fibros. 2002 Dec;1(4):249-54.

Understanding bacterial biofilms in patients with cystic fibrosis: current and innovative approaches to potential therapies.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology and Danish Cystic Fibrosis Centre in Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Chronic P. aeruginosa infection is characterized by production of mucoid alginate and formation of microcolonies (biofilm) as seen in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Oxygen radicals produced by the inflammatory response polymorphonuclear leucocytes induces the alginate production. The biofilm mode of growth is the survival strategy of environmental bacteria and alginate biofilms are also protected against antibiotics and against the immune response in the lungs of the patient. Quorum sensing is important for early and mature biofilm formation and also for the severity of the infection. The new knowledge of the mechanisms involved in biofilm formation opens up new possibilities for therapeutic intervention strategies involving e.g. inhibitors of quorum sensing.

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