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Microbiol Spectr. 2016 Apr;4(2). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0022-2015.

The Staphylococcal Biofilm: Adhesins, Regulation, and Host Response.


The staphylococci comprise a diverse genus of Gram-positive, nonmotile commensal organisms that inhabit the skin and mucous membranes of humans and other mammals. In general, staphylococci are benign members of the natural flora, but many species have the capacity to be opportunistic pathogens, mainly infecting individuals who have medical device implants or are otherwise immunocompromised. Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are major sources of hospital-acquired infections and are the most common causes of surgical site infections and medical device-associated bloodstream infections. The ability of staphylococci to form biofilms in vivo makes them highly resistant to chemotherapeutics and leads to chronic diseases. These biofilm infections include osteomyelitis, endocarditis, medical device infections, and persistence in the cystic fibrosis lung. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of our current understanding of staphylococcal biofilm formation, with an emphasis on adhesins and regulation, while also addressing how staphylococcal biofilms interact with the immune system. On the whole, this review will provide a thorough picture of biofilm formation of the staphylococcus genus and how this mode of growth impacts the host.

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