Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are a frequent cause of biofilm-associated infections that are a tremendous burden on our healthcare system. Staphylococcal biofilms exhibit extraordinary resistance to antimicrobial killing, limiting the efficacy of antibiotic therapy, and surgical intervention is often required to remove infected tissues or implanted devices. Recent work has provided new insight into the molecular basis of biofilm development in these opportunistic pathogens. Extracellular bacterial products, environmental conditions, and polymicrobial interactions have all been shown to influence profoundly the ability of these bacteria to colonize and disperse from clinically relevant surfaces. We review new developments in staphylococcal biofilm disassembly and set them in the context of potential strategies to control biofilm infections.
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