Biofilm-Leukocyte Cross-Talk: Impact on Immune Polarization and Immunometabolism

Kelsey J. Yamada, Tammy Kielian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Biofilms are bacterial communities contained within an extracellular matrix, which can colonize both native tissues and artificial surfaces. In particular, indwelling medical devices and prosthetic implants are targets for biofilm formation because they facilitate bacterial attachment via host proteins that coat the foreign body. Biofilm infections are particularly challenging to treat, since they are not readily cleared by antibiotics, require invasive procedures to eradicate, and are prone to recurrence. It has been demonstrated that biofilm-derived products can actively suppress proinflammatory immune responses, as evident by the recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells and macrophage (MΦ) polarization towards an anti-inflammatory state. Recent studies have shown that alterations in leukocyte metabolism shape their inflammatory phenotype and function. For example, anti-inflammatory MΦs are biased towards oxidative phosphorylation whereas proinflammatory MΦs favor aerobic glycolysis. This review will compare the immune responses elicited by planktonic and biofilm bacterial infections, with a discussion on the metabolic properties of MΦs and neutrophils in response to both bacterial growth conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-288
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Innate Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Bacterial biofilm
  • Immunometabolism
  • Innate immunity
  • Macrophage
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cell
  • Neutrophil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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