Biofilms: Microbial Shelters Against Antibiotics

Microb Drug Resist. 2017 Mar;23(2):147-156. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2016.0087. Epub 2016 May 23.


Biofilms are communities of aggregated bacterial cells embedded in a self-produced extracellular polymeric matrix. Biofilms are recalcitrant to antibiotic treatment and immune defenses and are implicated in many chronic bacterial and fungal infections. In this review, we provide an overview of the contribution of biofilms to persistent infections resistant to antibiotic treatment, the impact of multispecies biofilms on drug resistance and tolerance, and recent advances in the development of antibiofilm agents. Understanding the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and tolerance in biofilms is essential for developing new preventive and therapeutic strategies and curbing drug resistance.

Keywords: anti-biofilm agents; antibiotic resistance; antibiotic tolerance; biofilm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / drug effects*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents