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Crit Rev Microbiol. 2017 Sep;43(5):602-620. doi: 10.1080/1040841X.2017.1282941. Epub 2017 Feb 17.

The role of biofilms in persistent infections and factors involved in ica-independent biofilm development and gene regulation in Staphylococcus aureus.

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a Departamento de Microbiologia Médica, Instituto de Microbiologia Paulo de Góes , Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro , Brazil.
b Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia , Campus Universitário Setor F, Bloco A. Florianópolis, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina , Florianopolis , Brazil.


Staphylococcus aureus biofilms represent a unique micro-environment that directly contribute to the bacterial fitness within hospital settings. The accumulation of this structure on implanted medical devices has frequently caused the development of persistent and chronic S. aureus-associated infections, which represent an important social and economic burden worldwide. ica-independent biofilms are composed of an assortment of bacterial products and modulated by a multifaceted and overlapping regulatory network; therefore, biofilm composition can vary among S. aureus strains. In the microniches formed by biofilms-produced by a number of bacterial species and composed by different structural components-drug refractory cell subpopulations with distinct physiological characteristics can emerge and result in therapeutic failures in patients with recalcitrant bacterial infections. In this review, we highlight the importance of biofilms in the development of persistence and chronicity in some S. aureus diseases, the main molecules associated with ica-independent biofilm development and the regulatory mechanisms that modulate ica-independent biofilm production, accumulation, and dispersion.


Staphylococcus aureus; biofilm-related infections; ica-independent biofilms

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