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Encyclopedia > Biofilm
Staphylococcus aureus biofilm on an indwelling catheter.
Staphylococcus aureus biofilm on an indwelling catheter.

A biofilm is a complex aggregation of microorganisms marked by the excretion of a protective and adhesive matrix. Biofilms are also often characterized by surface attachment, structural heterogeneity, genetic diversity, complex community interactions, and an extracellular matrix of polymeric substances. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2835x1904, 2296 KB)Staphylococcus aureus biofilm of the surface of a catheter. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2835x1904, 2296 KB)Staphylococcus aureus biofilm of the surface of a catheter. ... Binomial name Staphylococcus aureus Rosenbach 1884 Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of staph infections, is a spherical bacterium, frequently living on the skin or in the nose of a healthy person, that can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections (such as pimples, boils, and cellulitis) and... Catheter disassembled In medicine, a catheter is a tube that can be inserted into a body cavity duct or vessel. ... A cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria magnified 10,000 times. ... A heterogeneous compound, mixture, or other such object is one that consists of many different items. ... Diversity is the presence of a wide range of variation in the qualities or attributes under discussion. ... In biology, extracellular matrix (ECM) is any material part of a tissue that is not part of any cell. ... A polymer is a substance composed of molecules with large molecular mass consisting of repeating structural units, or monomers, connected by covalent chemical bonds. ...


Single-celled organisms generally exhibit two distinct modes of behavior. The first is the familiar free floating, or planktonic, form in which single cells float or swim independently in some liquid medium. The second is an attached state in which cells are closely packed and firmly attached to each other and usually a solid surface. The change in behaviour is triggered by many factors, including quorum sensing, as well as other mechanisms that vary between species. When a cell switches modes, it undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are up- and down- regulated. Photomontage of plankton organisms This page is about microscopic sea creatures. ... Quorum sensing is the ability of bacteria to communicate and coordinate behavior via signaling molecules. ... Individuals in the mollusk species Donax variabilis show diverse coloration and patterning in their phenotypes. ...

Contents

Formation

Biofilm in Yellowstone National Park. Longest raised mat area is about half a meter long.
Biofilm in Yellowstone National Park. Longest raised mat area is about half a meter long.

Formation of a biofilm begins with the attachment of free-floating microorganisms to a surface. These first colonists adhere to the surface initially through weak, reversible van der Waals forces. If the colonists are not immediately separated from the surface, they can anchor themselves more permanently using cell adhesion molecules such as pili.[1] Photo taken by Daniel Mayer and released under terms of the GNU FDL. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Photo taken by Daniel Mayer and released under terms of the GNU FDL. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Yellowstone National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the western states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. ... In chemistry, the term van der Waals force originally referred to all forms of intermolecular forces; however, in modern usage it tends to refer to intermolecular forces that deal with forces due to the polarization of molecules. ... Schematic of cell adhesion The study of cell adhesion is part of cell biology. ... Image of bacteriological pili or fimbriae A pilus (Latin; plural : pili) is a hairlike structure on the surface of a cell, especially Gram-negative bacteria, a protein appendage required for bacterial conjugation. ...


The first colonists facilitate the arrival of other cells by providing more diverse adhesion sites and beginning to build the matrix that holds the biofilm together. Some species are not able to attach to a surface on their own but are often able to anchor themselves to the matrix or directly to earlier colonists. Once colonization has begun, the biofilm grows through a combination of cell division and recruitment. Schematic of cell adhesion The study of cell adhesion is part of cell biology. ...


Properties

Biofilms are usually found on solid substrates submerged in or exposed to some aqueous solution, although they can form as floating mats on liquid surfaces. Given sufficient resources for growth, a biofilm will quickly grow to be macroscopic. Biofilms can contain many different types of microorganism, e.g. bacteria, archaea, protozoa and algae; each group performing specialized metabolic functions. However, some organisms will form monospecies films under certain conditions. Drinking water This article focuses on water as we experience it every day. ... Dissolving table salt in water This article is about a chemical solution; for other uses of the term solution, see solution (disambiguation). ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... Phyla / Classes Phylum Crenarchaeota Phylum Euryarchaeota     Halobacteria     Methanobacteria     Methanococci     Methanopyri     Archaeoglobi     Thermoplasmata     Thermococci Phylum Korarchaeota Phylum Nanoarchaeota Archaea (; from Greek αρχαία, ancient ones; singular Archaeum, Archaean, or Archaeon), also called Archaebacteria (), is a major division of living organisms. ... Wikisource has an original article from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica about: Protozoa Protozoa (in Greek proto = first and zoa = animals) are single-celled eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have nuclei) that commonly show characteristics usually associated with animals, most notably mobility and heterotrophy. ... A seaweed (Laurencia) up close: the branches are multicellular and only about 1 mm thick. ... Overview of the citric acid cycle The citric acid cycle, one of the central metabolic pathways in aerobic organisms. ...


Extracellular matrix

The biofilm is held together and protected by a matrix of excreted polymeric compounds called EPS. EPS is an abbreviation for either extracellular polymeric substance or exopolysaccharide. This matrix protects the cells within it and facilitates communication among them through biochemical signals. Some biofilms have been found to contain water channels that help distribute nutrients and signalling molecules. This matrix is strong enough that under certain conditions, biofilms can become fossilized. A polymer is a substance composed of molecules with large molecular mass consisting of repeating structural units, or monomers, connected by covalent chemical bonds. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Three small ammonite fossils, each approximately 1. ...


Bacteria living in a biofilm usually have significantly different properties from free-floating bacteria of the same species, as the dense and protected environment of the film allows them to cooperate and interact in various ways. One benefit of this environment is increased resistance to detergents and antibiotics, as the dense extracellular matrix and the outer layer of cells protect the interior of the community. In some cases antibiotic resistance can be increased 1000 fold.[2] Laundry detergents are just only one of many possibilities of use of the detergents Detergent is a compound, or a mixture of compounds, intended to assist cleaning. ... Staphylococcus aureus - Antibiotics test plate. ...


Persister cells

Kim Lewis of Northeastern University has discovered that a small fraction of cells within E. coli biofilms are dormant within the biofilm and almost immune to the effects of antibotics because of their very low level of metabolic activity. Once antibiotic levels drop, these "persister cells" become active and repopulate/reconstitute the biofilm. Persisters are not mutants, but phenotypic variants of the wild type. He developed a method to isolate persisters and obtained their gene profile, which pointed to a dormancy program that is turned on in these cells (Keren et al., 2004). He found that proteins known as “toxins” forming toxin/antitoxin modules are largely responsible for persister formation. “Toxins” appear to be the exact opposite of what their name suggests, they reversibly block important processes such as translation, protecting the cell from bactericidal antibiotics that are ineffective against inactive targets. This finding provides a general solution for the long-standing riddle of biofilm tolerance. His current focus is to understand the workings of this dormancy program. The same program may be responsible for other puzzling phenomena in microbiology, such as latent forms of infectious pathogens, and uncultivability of most bacterial species on synthetic media. He is also searching for drugs that can kill persister cells.[1] Binomial name Escherichia coli T. Escherich, 1885 Escherichia coli (usually abbreviated to E. coli) is one of the main species of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals (including birds and mammals) and are necessary for the proper digestion of food. ...


Examples

Biofilms are ubiquitous. Nearly every species of microorganism, not only bacteria and archaea, have mechanisms by which they can adhere to surfaces and to each other.


Biofilms can be found on rocks and pebbles at the bottom of most streams or rivers and often form on the surface of stagnant pools of water. Biofilms are important components of foodchains in rivers and streams and are grazed by the aquatic invertebrates upon which many fish feed. Río Peralonso - El Zulia (Norte de Santander), Colombia River Gambia flowing through Niokolokoba National Park Nevėžis River in Lithuania A river is a natural waterway usually formed by water derived from either precipitation or glacial meltwater, and flows from higher ground to lower ground. ... Water stagnation occurs when water stops flowing. ... Invertebrate is a term that describes any animal without a spinal column. ...


Biofilms grow in hot, acidic pools in Yellowstone National Park (USA) and on glaciers in Antarctica. Yellowstone National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the western states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. ...


In industrial environments, biofilms can develop on the interiors of pipes, which can lead to clogging and corrosion. Biofilms on floors and counters can make sanitation difficult in food preparation areas.


Biofilms can also be harnessed for constructive purposes. For example, many sewage treatment plants include a treatment stage in which waste water passes over biofilms grown on filters, which extract and digest organic compounds. In such biofilms, bacteria are mainly responsible for removal of organic matter (BOD); whilst protozoa and rotifers are mainly responsible for removal of suspended solids (SS), including pathogens and other microorganisms. Slow sand filters rely on biofilm development in the same way to filter surface water from lake, spring or river sources for drinking purposes. Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater, both runoff and domestic. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Wikisource has an original article from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica about: Protozoa Protozoa (in Greek proto = first and zoa = animals) are single-celled eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have nuclei) that commonly show characteristics usually associated with animals, most notably mobility and heterotrophy. ... Classes Seisonoidea Bdelloidea Monogononta The rotifers make up a phylum of microscopic, and near-microscopic pseudocoelomate animals. ... Slow sand filters are used in water purification for treating raw water to produce a potable product. ...


Biofilms are also present on the teeth of most animals, where they may become responsible for tooth decay. Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ... Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ...


Biofilms and infectious diseases

Biofilms have been found to be involved in a wide variety of microbial infections in the body, by one estimate 80% of all infections.[3] Infectious processes in which biofilms have been implicated include common problems such as urinary tract infections, catheter infections, middle-ear infections, formation of dental plaque, gingivitis, coating contact lenses, and less common but more lethal processes such as endocarditis, infections in cystic fibrosis, and infections of permanent indwelling devices such as joint prostheses and heart valves.[4] A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract. ... In urinary catheterization, a urinary catheter, like foley catheter, a slender plastic tube, is pushed up a patients urinary tract into their bladder. ... Otitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear segment of the ear. ... Improper removal of plaque caused a build up of calculus (dark yellow colour) near the gums on almost all the teeth. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A soft contact lens A contact lens (also known as contact, for short) is a corrective or cosmetic lens placed on the cornea of the eye atop the iris. ... Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart, the endocardium. ... A United States Army soldier plays foosball with two prosthetic arms Jon Comer, professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Artificial heart valve. ...


It has recently been shown that biofilms are present on the removed tissue of 80% of patients undergoing surgery for chronic sinusitis. The patients with biofilms were shown to have been denuded of cilia and goblet cells.[5] Controls without biofilms had normal cilia and goblet cell morphology.[6] Biofilms were also found on samples from two of 10 healthy controls mentioned. The species of bacteria from interoperative cultures did not correspond to the bacteria species in the biofilm on the respective patient's tissue. In other words, the cultures were negative though the bacteria were present.[7] Sinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may or may not be as a result of infection, from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or autoimmune issues. ... cross-section of two motile cilia, showing the 9+2 structure A cilium (plural cilia) or undulipodium (pl. ... Goblet cells are glandular epithelial cells that are specifically designed to secrete mucus. ...


Bradley Smith of the University of Notre Dame reports on a new staining technique to differentate bacterial cells growing in living animals from tissue inflamed by allergic processes in the Jan 10 2007 issue of the American Chemical Society. [2]


References

  1. ^ JPG Images: niaid.nih.gov erc.montana.edu
  2. ^ (Stewart and Costerton 2001)
  3. ^ (NIH 2002)
  4. ^ (Lewis 2001, Parsek and Singh 2003)
  5. ^ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  6. ^ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  7. ^ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Allison, D. G.; Gilbert, P.; Lappin-Scott, H. M.; and Wilson, M. (eds) Community Structure and Co-operation in Biofilms Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-79302-5.
  • Lappin-Scott, H. M.; Costerton, J. W. (eds) "Microbial Biofilms" Cambridge University Press. ISBN-10: 052154212X
  • Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University [3].
  • NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [4], 2002, "Research on microbial biofilms," PA-03-047 [5]
  • Lewis K. "Riddle of biofilm resistance". Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 Apr;45(4):999-1007. Review. MEDLINE : [6] . ARTICLE : [7]
  • Parsek MR, Singh PK. "Bacterial biofilms: an emerging link to disease pathogenesis". Annu Rev Microbiol. 2003;57:677-701. Review. MEDLINE : [8]
  • Stewart PS, Costerton JW. (2001). Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms. The Lancet, 358: 135-138

Further reading

  • "Chronic rhinosinusitis and biofilms". Ramadan HH, Sanclement JA, Thomas JG. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Mar;132(3):414-7.
  • Bacterial biofilms in surgical specimens of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Sanclement JA, Webster P, Thomas J, Ramadan HH, Laryngoscope. 2005 Apr;115(4):578-82
  • Biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa is associated with an unfavorable evolution after surgery for chronic sinusitis and nasal polyposis. Bendouah Z, Barbeau J, Hamad WA, Desrosiers M, Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Jun;134(6):991-6
  • Bacterial biofilms on the sinus mucosa of human subjects with chronic rhinosinusitis. Sanderson AR, Leid JG, Hunsaker D. Laryngoscope. 2006 Jul;116(7):1121-6
  • Biofilms specialists in France

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