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, 9 (1), 34-9

Mechanisms of Biofilm Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents


Mechanisms of Biofilm Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents

T F Mah et al. Trends Microbiol.


Biofilms are communities of microorganisms attached to a surface. It has become clear that biofilm-grown cells express properties distinct from planktonic cells, one of which is an increased resistance to antimicrobial agents. Recent work has indicated that slow growth and/or induction of an rpoS-mediated stress response could contribute to biocide resistance. The physical and/or chemical structure of exopolysaccharides or other aspects of biofilm architecture could also confer resistance by exclusion of biocides from the bacterial community. Finally, biofilm-grown bacteria might develop a biofilm-specific biocide-resistant phenotype. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of the biofilm, it is likely that there are multiple resistance mechanisms at work within a single community. Recent research has begun to shed light on how and why surface-attached microbial communities develop resistance to antimicrobial agents.

Comment in

  • Multicellular resistance: biofilms.
    Stewart PS. Stewart PS. Trends Microbiol. 2001 May;9(5):204. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(01)01983-7. Trends Microbiol. 2001. PMID: 11393180 No abstract available.

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