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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2015 May;34(5):877-86. doi: 10.1007/s10096-015-2323-z. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Biofilm-specific antibiotic tolerance and resistance.

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Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1052 Blindern, Oslo, 0316, Norway,


Biofilms are heterogeneous structures composed of bacterial cells surrounded by a matrix and attached to solid surfaces. The bacteria here are 100 to 1,000 times more tolerant to antimicrobials than corresponding planktonic cells. Biofilms can be difficult to eradicate when they cause biofilm-related diseases, e.g., implant infections, cystic fibrosis, urinary tract infections, and periodontal diseases. A number of phenotypic features of the biofilm can be involved in biofilm-specific tolerance and resistance. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved. The current review deals with both phenotypic and molecular mechanisms of biofilm-specific antibiotic tolerance and resistance.

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