What is Biofilm?

What is Biofilm?

Over the last few years, biofilm research has expanded considerably and revealed that biofilms are probably the most common form of microbial growth in nature. Dental plaque is one of the oldest know examples of a biofilm.

One of the most important properties of the microbial cells in a biofilm is that they are phenotypically different from their plank-tonic counterparts.
Factors considered to be responsible for an increased resistance in biofilms include restriction penetration of antimicrobials, decreased growth rate, expression of resistance genes, and the presence of resistant cells. Antimicrobial treatment kills off a large number of microbial cells.
Though the biofilm, may persist and regrow causing re-occurrence of the symptoms.

Biofilms have the ability to communicate with each other using various communication systems. This process is cell density dependent and allows bacteria to coordinate gene expression, meaning micro-organisms increase their chances of successfully infecting their host.

P. acnes produces extracellular lipases that hydrolyze triglycerides in the sebum into glycerol and fatty acids. There are studies that shows P. acnes have several genes that are relevant for biofilm formation. Some of these genes are responsible for the production of extracellular polysaccharide matrix, a gene that is responsible for production of adhesion proteins.

Biofilms are ubiquitous and notoriously difficult to eradicate, the formation of biofilms is rapid. Where there is a chronic infection, there will be formation of biofilm, making P. acnes biofilm part of the clinical picture of acne.

Yours in skin,

Gay Wardle

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