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Bacteria and Biofilm
Bacteria are fascinating microscopic cells that can live by themselves or be extremely social. Indeed, they can establish social interactions with other microorganisms to form highly organized communities known as biofilms. These consortia consist of adherent aggregates of microorganisms arranged within a matrix of a self-produced extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) composed of a mixture of polysaccharides, proteins and extracellular DNA. Biofilm-forming activity is a widespread bacterial feature found on natural and artificial surfaces. In natural environments, biofilms represent the preeminent lifestyle of bacteria which can have beneficial effects on plant growth promotion, organic compound degradation, including different aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, microbial biofilms have been found useful in food fermentation, the production of many bio-based materials, bioremediation, wastewater treatment and microbial fuel cells.
Bacterial biofilms are a serious public-health problem worldwide. In recent years, the rates of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria associated with biofilm-forming activity have increased worrisomely, particularly among healthcare-associated pathogens. Acinetobacter baumannii is a critically opportunistic pathogen, due to the high rates of antibiotic resistant strains causing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). The clinical isolates of A. baumannii can form biofilms on both biotic and abiotic surfaces; hospital settings and medical devices are the ideal environments for A. baumannii biofilms, thereby representing the main source of patient infections. However, the paucity of therapeutic options poses major concerns for human health infections caused by A. baumannii strains. The increasing number of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii biofilm-forming isolates in association with the limited number of biofilm-eradicating treatments intensify the need for effective antibiofilm approaches. This review discusses the mechanisms used by this opportunistic pathogen to form biofilms, describes their clinical impact, and summarizes the current and emerging treatment options available, both to prevent their formation and to disrupt preformed A. baumannii biofilms.
The entry is from 10.3390/microorganisms9071353
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