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Virulence. 2011 Sep-Oct;2(5):435-44. doi: 10.4161/viru.2.5.16140. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm.

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Department of Oral Biology and Tobacco Cessation and Biobehavioral Center, School of Dentistry, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


Biofilms are masses of microorganisms that bind to and multiply on a solid surface, typically with a fluid bathing the microbes. The microorganisms that are not attached but are free floating in an aqueous environment are termed planktonic cells. Traditionally, microbiology research has addressed results from planktonic bacterial cells. However, many recent studies have indicated that biofilms are the preferred form of growth of most microbes and particularly those of a pathogenic nature. Biofilms on animal hosts have significantly increased resistance to various antimicrobials compared to planktonic cells. These microbial communities form microcolonies that interact with each other using very sophisticated communication methods (i.e., quorum-sensing). The development of unique microbiological tools to detect and assess the various biofilms around us is a tremendously important focus of research in many laboratories. In the present review, we discuss the major biofilm mechanisms and the interactions among oral bacteria.

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