Suicide and fratricide in bacterial biofilms

Vinai Chittezham Thomas, Lynne E. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Bacterial autolysis has recently been identified as a key mechanism that regulates different phases of biofilm development including microcolony formation and dispersal. However such autolytic measures are limited to a subfraction of cells within the entire biofilm population. Here we speculate on the role biofilm heterogeneity plays in limiting autolysis within biofilms and further describe the molecular regulation of suicidal and fratricidal mechanisms in biofilm development of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Altruistic suicide
  • Autolysis
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Fratricide
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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