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Trends Microbiol. 2014 Jun;22(6):326-33. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Mar 2.

Molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial tolerance and resistance in bacterial and fungal biofilms.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
2
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Leuven, Belgium; Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
3
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: Tom.Coenye@Ugent.be.

Abstract

The formation of microbial biofilms is an important reason for failure of antimicrobial therapy. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the survival of biofilm cells are still not completely understood. In this review we discuss three mechanisms that play an important role in biofilm survival: (i) biofilm-specific protection against oxidative stress; (ii) biofilm-specific expression of efflux pumps; and (iii) protection provided by matrix polysaccharides. We demonstrate that these mechanisms are found both in bacterial and fungal biofilms and are often surprisingly similar between distantly related organisms. In addition, we give an overview of the data that suggests that these mechanisms may not be independent.

KEYWORDS:

antibiotics; biofilm; biofilm matrix; efflux; persisters; resistance

PMID:
24598086
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2014.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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