Strategies for Biofilm Control

Yang L, Givskov M. Chemical Biology Strategies for Biofilm Control. Microbiology spectrum 2015 Aug;3(4). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0019-2015.

Microbes live as densely populated multicellular surface-attached biofilm communities embedded in self-generated, extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs). EPSs serve as a scaffold for cross-linking biofilm cells and support development of biofilm architecture and functions. Biofilms can have a clear negative impact on humans, where biofilms are a common denominator in many chronic diseases in which they prime development of destructive inflammatory conditions and the failure of our immune system to efficiently cope with them. Our current assortment of antimicrobial agents cannot efficiently eradicate biofilms. For industrial applications, the removal of biofilms within production machinery in the paper and hygienic food packaging industry, cooling water circuits, and drinking water manufacturing systems can be critical for the safety and efficacy of those processes. Biofilm formation is a dynamic process that involves microbial cell migration, cell-to-cell signaling and interactions, EPS synthesis, and cell-EPS interactions. Recent progress of fundamental biofilm research has shed light on novel chemical biology strategies for biofilm control. In this article, chemical biology strategies targeting the bacterial intercellular and intracellular signaling pathways will be discussed.

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