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A biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells adhere to each other and/or to a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS, which is also referred to as slime (although not everything described as slime is a biofilm), is a polymeric conglomeration generally composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides in various configurations. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces, and represent a prevalent mode of microbial life in natural, industrial and hospital settings. The microbial cells growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which, by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium.
Staphylococcus aureus biofilm on an indwelling catheter.
Microbes form a biofilm in response to many factors, which may include cellular recognition of specific or non-specific attachment sites on a surface, nutritional cues, or in some cases, by exposure of planktonic cells to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics.  When a cell switches to the biofilm mode of growth, it undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are differentially regulated.
Formation of a biofilm begins with the attachment of free-floating microorganisms to a surface. These first colonists adhere to the surface initially through weak, reversible adhesion via van der Waals forces. If the colonists are not immediately separated from the surface, they can anchor themselves more permanently using cell adhesion structures such as pili. The first colonists facilitate the arrival of other cells by providing more diverse adhesion sites and beginning to build the matrix that holds the biofilm together. Some species are not able to attach to a surface on their own but are often able to anchor themselves to the matrix or directly to earlier colonists. It is during this colonization that the cells are able to communicate via quorum sensing using such products as AHL. Once colonization has begun, the biofilm grows through a combination of cell division and recruitment. The final stage of biofilm formation is known as development, and is the stage in which the biofilm is established and may only change in shape and size. The development of a biofilm may allow for an aggregate cell colony (or colonies) to be increasingly antibiotic resistant.
3. although they can form as floating mats on liquid surfaces and also on the surface of leaves. Given sufficient resources for growth. 2. Each stage of development in the diagram is Dispersal enables biofilms to spread and paired with a photomicrograph of a developing P. when the biofilm is compared to logarithmic phase planktonic cells. Five stages of biofilm development. degrade the biofilm extracellular matrix. This matrix protects the cells within it and facilitates communication among them through biochemical signals. Some biofilms have been found to contain water channels that help distribute nutrients and signalling molecules. EPS is an abbreviation for either extracellular polymeric substance or exopolysaccharide.g. each group performing specialized metabolic functions. aeruginosa biofilm. However. Although. 4. Biofilms can contain many different types of microorganism. may play a role in biofilm dispersal. This matrix is strong enough that under certain conditions. Secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Lateral gene transfer is greatly facilitated in biofilms and leads to a more stable biofilm structure. as the dense extracellular matrix and the outer layer of cells protect the interior of the community. initial attachment irreversible attachment maturation I maturation II dispersion Dispersal Dispersal of cells from the biofilm colony is an essential stage of the biofilm lifecycle. 1.  Recent evidence has shown that a fatty acid messenger. All colonize new surfaces. This resistance to antibiotics in both stationary phase cells and biofilms .  The concept that biofilms are more resistant to antimicrobials is not completely accurate. e. particularly in high humidity climates. this compound induces dispersion in several species of bacteria and the yeast Candida albicans Properties Biofilms are usually found on solid substrates submerged in or exposed to some aqueous solution. archaea. One benefit of this environment is increased resistance to detergents and antibiotics. when compared to stationary phase planktonic cells. is capable of inducing dispersion and inhibiting growth of biofilm colonies.  Biofilm matrix degrading enzymes may be useful as anti-biofilm agents. a biofilm will quickly grow to be macroscopic. Enzymes that photomicrographs are shown to same scale. such as dispersin B and deoxyribonuclease. For instance the biofilm form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa has no greater resistance to antimicrobials. In some cases antibiotic resistance can be increased a thousand-fold. 5. bacteria.Biofilm 2 Development There are five stages of biofilm development (see illustration at right). Extracellular matrix The biofilm is held together and protected by a matrix of excreted polymeric compounds called EPS. as the dense and protected environment of the film allows them to cooperate and interact in various ways. cis-2-decenoic acid. protozoa. the biofilm does have greater resistance to antimicrobials. some organisms will form monospecies films under certain conditions. fungi and algae. Bacteria living in a biofilm usually have significantly different properties from free-floating bacteria of the same species. biofilms can become fossilized.
many sewage treatment plants include a treatment stage in which waste water passes over biofilms grown on filters. such as pipelines of the offshore oil and gas industry. can lead to substantial corrosion problems. What we regard as clean water is a waste material to these microcellular organisms since they are unable to extract any further nutrition from the purified water.. binding and cementation of sedimentary grains by microbial biofilms. In such biofilms. the so-called hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria (HCB). bacteria are mainly responsible for removal of organic matter (BOD). however. have mechanisms by which they can adhere to surfaces and to each other. microbially-influenced corrosion). where they may cause tooth decay and gum disease. spring or river sources for drinking purposes. Biofilms on floors and counters can make sanitation difficult in food preparation areas. including pathogens and other microorganisms. Nearly every species of microorganism. Longest raised mat area is about half a meter long. • Biofilms can be found on rocks and pebbles at the bottom of most streams or rivers and often form on the surface of stagnant pools of water. especially of cyanobacteria. and the useful life of ships is also reduced due to corrosion and mechanical removal (scraping) of marine organisms from ships’ hulls. Pierce's Disease of grapes. and Bacterial Spot of plants such as peppers and . as in the case of nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium on roots. Stromatolites include some of the most ancient records of life on Earth. In fact. Such fouling can reduce maximum vessel speed by up to 20%. 3 Examples Biofilms are ubiquitous. the extremely hot. • Biofilms in marine engineering systems. briny waters of hot springs ranging from very acidic to very alkaline. • Stromatolites are layered accretionary structures formed in shallow water by the trapping. Examples of crop diseases related to biofilms include Citrus Canker. biofilms can grow in showers very easily since they provide a moist and warm environment for the biofilm to thrive. Biofilms can form inside water and sewage pipes and cause clogging and corrosion. not only bacteria and archaea. Slow sand filters rely on biofilm development in the same way to filter surface water from lake. • Biofilms in cooling. Corrosion is mainly due to abiotic factors. which extract and digest organic compounds. The oil is eliminated by the hydrocarbon-degrading activities of microbial communities. • Biofilms are found on the surface of and inside plants. • Biofilms are present on the teeth of most animals as dental plaque. • Biofilms can grow in the most extreme environments: from. Biofilm in Yellowstone National Park. for example. For example. it is easier for other marine organisms such as barnacles to attach.or heating-water systems are known to reduce heat transfer. • Biofilms can also be harnessed for constructive purposes. • Bacterial adhesion to boat hulls serves as the foundation for biofouling of seagoing vessels. while protozoa and rotifers are mainly responsible for removal of suspended solids (SS). to frozen glaciers. at least 20% is caused by microorganisms that are attached to the metal subsurface (i. • Biofilms can help eliminate petroleum oil from contaminated oceans or marine systems. in particular by a remarkable recently-discovered group of specialists. Biofilms will form on virtually every non-shedding surface in a non-sterile aqueous environment.e.Biofilm may be due to the presence of persister cells. They can either contribute to crop disease or. Time in dry dock for refitting and repainting reduces the productivity of shipping assets. Once a film of bacteria forms. biofilms are important components of food chains in rivers and streams and are grazed by the aquatic invertebrates upon which many fish feed. prolonging voyages and consuming fuel. • In the human environment. exist symbiotically with the plant. and are still forming today.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is not only an important opportunistic pathogen and causative agent of emerging nosocomial infections but can also be considered a model organism for the study of diverse bacterial mechanisms that contribute to bacterial persistence. Infectious processes in which biofilms have been implicated include common problems such as urinary tract infections.  New staining techniques are being developed to differentiate bacterial cells growing in living animals. unlike the controls without biofilms who had normal cilia and goblet cell morphology. Biofilms were also found on samples from two of 10 healthy controls mentioned.g. One major reason for persistence seems to be the capability of the bacteria to grow within biofilms that protects them from adverse environmental factors. In this context the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the switch from planktonic growth to a biofilm phenotype and the role of inter-bacterial communication in persistent disease should provide new insights in P. e. formation of dental plaque. Chronic infections remain a major challenge for the medical profession and are of great economic relevance because traditional antibiotic therapy is usually not sufficient to eradicate these infections. Biofilms can also be formed on the inert surfaces of implanted devices such as catheters. coating contact lenses. It has recently been shown that biofilms are present on the removed tissue of 80% of patients undergoing surgery for chronic sinusitis. gingivitis. The species of bacteria from interoperative cultures did not correspond to the bacteria species in the biofilm on the respective patient's tissue.  More recently it has been noted that bacterial biofilms may impair cutaneous wound healing and reduce topical antibacterial efficiency in healing or treating infected skin wounds. the cultures were negative though the bacteria were present. The patients with biofilms were shown to have been denuded of cilia and goblet cells. catheter infections.Biofilm tomatoes. Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms The achievements of medical care in industrialised societies are markedly impaired due to chronic opportunistic infections that have become increasingly apparent in immunocompromised patients and the aging population. . and less common but more lethal processes such as endocarditis. middle-ear infections. infections in cystic fibrosis. contribute to a better clinical management of chronically infected patients and should lead to the identification of new drug targets for the development of alternative anti-infective treatment strategies. from tissues with allergy-inflammations . 4 Biofilms and infectious diseases Biofilms have been found to be involved in a wide variety of microbial infections in the body. and infections of permanent indwelling devices such as joint prostheses and heart valves. In other words. by one estimate 80% of all infections. aeruginosa pathogenicity. prosthetic cardiac valves and intrauterine devices.
ISBN 0-521-79302-5. J. • Lynch. UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-84569-477-7. Neisseria gonorrhoeae biofilms Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an exclusive human pathogen. In addition it has been demonstrated that the gonococcus can form biofilms on glass surfaces and over human cells. Cambridge. Community structure and co-operation in biofilms. Woodhead Publishing Limited. microcolony formation. Legionellosis Legionella bacteria are known to grow under certain conditions in biofilms.Biofilm 5 Dental plaque Dental plaque is the material that adheres to the teeth and consists of bacterial cells (mainly Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguinis). Center for Biofilm Engineering. G. biofilm maturation and dispersion. • "A Friendly Guide to Biofilm Basics & the CBE" . especially of extensively studied model organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Biofilms in the food and beverage industries. D. Hilary M. See also • • • • Kombucha Microbial mat Phototrophic biofilms Stromatolite References • Allison. There is evidence for formation of gonococcal biofilms on human cervical epithelial cells during natural disease and that outer membrane blebbing by the gonococcus is crucial in biofilm formation over human cervical epithelial cells.. M. W. DNA and exopolysaccharides.  The rapid progress in biofilm research has also unveiled several genetic regulation mechanisms implicated in biofilm regulation such as quorum sensing and the novel secondary messenger cyclic-di-GMP. or maintained. Costerton. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation has facilitated the exploration of novel strategies to control bacterial biofilms. Lappin-Scott.. • Fratamico. Plaque is a biofilm on the surfaces of the teeth. in which they are protected against disinfectants. constructed. Microbial biofilms. ISBN 0-521-54212-X. (2003). and in each step bacteria may recruit different components and molecules including flagellae. This accumulation of microorganisms subject the teeth and gingival tissues to high concentrations of bacterial metabolites which results in dental disease. Recent studies have demonstrated that it utilizes two distinct mechanisms for entry into human urethral and cervical epithelial cells involving different bacterial surface ligands and host receptors. . (2000). persons working in air conditioned rooms and people taking a shower are exposed to Legionella by inhalation when the systems are not well designed. type IV pili. Workers in cooling towers. salivary polymers and bacterial extracellular products. Montana State University. (2009). Cambridge. Molecular genetics Technological progress in microscopy. molecular genetics and genome analysis has significantly advanced our understanding of the structural and molecular aspects of biofilms. James F. UK: Cambridge University Press. Biofilm development can be divided into several key steps including attachment.
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. Caister Academic Press. PMID 16826045. Forster TS.1016/j.mlg.03.1146/annurev.57. ISBN 978-1-904455-48-6.0000161346. Singh PK (2003).php/) . PMID 14527295.090720. (2010).2006. org/forum. montana.montana. erc. Ramadan H (2005). Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery 134 (6): 991–6. PMID 17937586. coli Prey and M. ISBN 978-1-904455-51-6.2007. et al. Caister Academic Press. Rodrigues FF.001. "The Impact and Molecular Genetics of Bacterial Biofilms". Desrosiers M (June 2006).59. nih.030502. Robertson GT (2008).1080/13693780902856626. Caister Academic Press.php/Biofilm) Biofilmcommunity Discussion Board & Video Interviews with Biofilm Experts (http://www.edu/biofilmbook/) All about biofilms in streams (http://www.  Ullrich M (2009). "Biofilm formation on intrauterine devices in patients with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis".otohns.  Murga R. ISBN 978-1-904455-45-5.streambiofilm.micro.  http:/ / www.2004. doi:10.mlg. horizonpress.30752.05467. Morreira D. Welsh E. (2010). Environmental Molecular Microbiology. • Lynch AS.  Sanderson AR. Jiang H.1524-475X. Pseudomonas: Genomics and Molecular Biology (http:/ / www. BioMineWiki (http://wiki.se/wiki/index. "Role of biofilms in the survival of Legionella pneumophila in a model potable-water system". Neisseria: Molecular Mechanisms of Pathogenesis. "Biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa is associated with an unfavorable evolution after surgery for chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis".1016/j. Bacterial Polysaccharides: Current Innovations and Future Trends.  Apicella M et al.1111/j. • Bendouah Z.med. Donlan RM (November 2001).  An S et al. The Laryngoscope 116 (7): 1121–6. PMID 15805862.00303. PMID 18211576. Ricotti C.  Jarrell K (2009).1097/01. fcgi?tool=pmcentrez& artid=2531239). doi:10. Microbiology 147 (Pt 11): 3121–6.011. doi:10.x. PMID 15746854.3582) External links • • • • Center for Biofilm Engineering's Hypertextbook (http://www. ISBN 978-1-904455-52-3. Webster P. Pili and Flagella: Current Research and Future Trends.  Leevy WM.110106. luteus Decoys".18 (inactive 2010-02-01). doi:10. Sanclement JA.0000221954. (December 2006).org/abs/1005. PMID 11700362. PMC 2531239. "Microscopic and physiologic evidence for biofilm-associated wound colonization in vivo". Hunsaker D (July 2006). doi:10.  Auler ME.otohns. PMID 16730544.biomine. Eaglstein WH. link (http://arxiv.org. Brown E. Pruckler JM. et al. Leid JG. ISBN 978-1-904455-19-6.1021/ja0665592. Laryngoscope 115 (4): 578–82. com/ pseudo) (1st ed. Thomas JG (March 2005). Gammon ST.Biofilm  Parsek MR. Fields BS. doi:10. Cazzaniga A. ArXiv. Thomas J. Hamad WA. Caister Academic Press. "Optical imaging of bacterial infection in living mice using a fluorescent near-infrared molecular probe" (http:/ / www. "Bacterial biofilms on the sinus mucosa of human subjects with chronic rhinosinusitis".132000.1146/annurev. "Bacterial biofilms: an emerging link to disease pathogenesis".). pubmedcentral. • Vo P. edu/ CBEssentials-SW/ bf-basics-99/ default. "Bacterial and fungal biofilm infections".54.11. PMID 19353374. doi:10.  Davis SC. Mertz PM (2008).skelleftea. Journal of the American Chemical Society 128 (51): 16476–7. Medical Mycology: 1–6. Annual Review of Microbiology 57: 677–701. Barbeau J.nz/) Biofilm. Nunez M (2010).  Cornelis P (2008). (April 2009). PMID 17177377. "Gonococcal Biofilms". htm 7 Further reading • Ramadan HH. "Bacterial biofilms in surgical specimens of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis". "Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus Predation in Dual-Species Biofilms of E. Annual Review of Medicine 59: 415–28. Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery 132 (3): 414–7.erc. "Chronic rhinosinusitis and biofilms". Wound Repair and Regeneration 16 (1): 23–9.1097/01. Caister Academic Press. doi:10. doi:10.biofilmcommunity. gov/ articlerender.  Sanclement J.
Ejhoekstra. DMahalko.250.php?title=File:Bacteria_mats_near_Grand_Prismatic_Spring_in_Yellowstone-750px. Ucucha.wikipedia. WAS 4. GeeJo. Ytiugibma. Rjwilmsi. Courcelles. Rich Farmbrough. Androstachys. Jmeppley. Michele Bini. The Transhumanist. Vojtech. Velella. Truehawk. Xabian40409. Owen Macri. Smartse.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia. Tlroche. Popnose. Guslacerda. TimVickers. AdultSwim. Scharks. Polysinthetic. Basicdesign. Pol098. Bioguz.wikipedia. Davidruben. Wavelength. Codman. Kintetsubuffalo.Article Sources and Contributors 8 Article Sources and Contributors Biofilm Source: http://en. Chris Capoccia. Polwart. Uffish. Souad27. Pinkpedaller. Oral BioTech.folsom. Copydays. Deculpep. Hardin MD. Andres. Andy Dingley.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Bestiasonica. LeadSongDog. Grafen. Ethernet1002. Lexor. FrankMJohnson. JoeHarrisonUW. Arthropatient. 3 anonymous edits Image:biofilm. Martin-wiki. Nessabburn.php?title=File:Staphylococcus_aureus_biofilm_01.dostal. Barticus88.org/w/index. Anna. James. Davidr222.JPG Source: http://en. Trevyn. Delv0n2. Error28.jpg License: unknown Contributors: D. Altenmann.php?title=File:Biofilm.wikipedia License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3. Minimac. KOxiNeLLe. Licenses and Contributors Image:Staphylococcus aureus biofilm 01. Ebcrc. MarcoTolo. ASK.wikipedia. Bryan Derksen. Calliopejen1. Finkelstein.org/w/index. Originalname37. CanisRufus.h.0 Unported http:/ / creativecommons. Barek.org/w/index. Marysue12345. Wickey-nl. DARTH SIDIOUS 2. 120 anonymous edits Image Sources. Iridescent.org/w/index. org/ licenses/ by-sa/ 3. Dugo. Iain marcuson. Davis Image:Bacteria mats near Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone-750px.php?oldid=394020442 Contributors: 100110100. Paleorthid. Now c shore. Changer-1234. Bache seyyed. Siliconov. Cybercobra.jpg Source: http://en. Galaxiaad. 0/ . Sawran. J. Reedy. Sabedon. Samrolken. Fahad24.JPG License: GNU Free Documentation License Contributors: Original uploader was Mav at en. Dougher. Avenged Eightfold.bauer. Touchstone42.
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