Over billions of years of evolution, bacteria have developed a very successful mode of survival that has recently been characterized as the “biofilm phenotype.” In nature, opposed to existing in a free-floating planktonic form, the vast majority of bacteria are found attached to solid strata in structured communities encased in a self-produced polymeric matrix. This preferential, biofilm-associated means of bacterial growth has been recently defined by Donlan and Costerton as “a microbially derived sessile community characterized by cells that are irreversibly attached to a substratum or interface or to each other, are embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances that they have produced, and exhibit an altered phenotype with respect to growth rate and gene transcription” (1). Bacterial biofilms are believed to have evolved in nature to give organisms a competitive advantage in high shear conditions, to protect microbes from environmental hazards (toxic substances or predatory cells), and to adapt to various nutritional conditions. Similarly, bacteria have exploited the biofilm model of existence in various infectious diseases and biomaterial-associated infections.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Biofilms, Infection, and Antimicrobial Therapy|
|Number of pages||15|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)