Strategies for combating bacterial biofilm infections

Int J Oral Sci. 2015 Mar 23;7(1):1-7. doi: 10.1038/ijos.2014.65.


Formation of biofilm is a survival strategy for bacteria and fungi to adapt to their living environment, especially in the hostile environment. Under the protection of biofilm, microbial cells in biofilm become tolerant and resistant to antibiotics and the immune responses, which increases the difficulties for the clinical treatment of biofilm infections. Clinical and laboratory investigations demonstrated a perspicuous correlation between biofilm infection and medical foreign bodies or indwelling devices. Clinical observations and experimental studies indicated clearly that antibiotic treatment alone is in most cases insufficient to eradicate biofilm infections. Therefore, to effectively treat biofilm infections with currently available antibiotics and evaluate the outcomes become important and urgent for clinicians. The review summarizes the latest progress in treatment of clinical biofilm infections and scientific investigations, discusses the diagnosis and treatment of different biofilm infections and introduces the promising laboratory progress, which may contribute to prevention or cure of biofilm infections. We conclude that, an efficient treatment of biofilm infections needs a well-established multidisciplinary collaboration, which includes removal of the infected foreign bodies, selection of biofilm-active, sensitive and well-penetrating antibiotics, systemic or topical antibiotic administration in high dosage and combinations, and administration of anti-quorum sensing or biofilm dispersal agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Biofilms*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents