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Ugeskr Laeger. 1994 Oct 10;156(41):5998-6005.

[Biofilm, foreign bodies and chronic infections].

[Article in Danish]

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Klinisk mikrobiologisk afdeling, Rigshospitalet, København.


Most bacteria occur in the environment as sessile cells adhering to a surface, whereas a minority exists as free floating (planktonic) cells. Biofilms consist of microcolonies embedded in a polysaccharide matrix produced by the bacteria. This polysaccharide slime protects the bacteria against hostile environmental factors. Planktonic daughter cells are liberated from the surface of biofilms and may colonize new surfaces and subsequently produce new biofilms. Biofilms are often consortia of several different bacterial species. The normal microflora on the skin or on the mucous membranes in the human body occurs as a biofilm, which is removed by the shedding of old cells and by the excretion of mucus. Subsequently new cells and new mucus are colonized by biofilm forming bacteria without giving rise to any symptoms. When body surfaces with a normally occurring microflora (A) are connected by means of an implanted foreign body with body surfaces or tissue compartments without a microflora (B) e.g. bronchi, gall bladder, peritoneum, veins, then a translocation of the normal microflora from (A) to (B) may easily occur leading to acute infection, formation of new biofilms on the implanted foreign body and induction of inflammation in the environment of this biofilm. Chronic bacterial infections are frequently caused by biofilm producing bacteria and the pathogenesis of the tissue damage is dominated by a persistent immune complex mediated inflammation. Bacteria growing in biofilms cannot be eradicated by antibiotics and biofilms resist the immunological and non-specific defence mechanisms of the body.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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