Biofilm formation – what we can learn from recent developments

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Bjarnsholt, Thomas
  • K. Buhlin
  • Y. F. Dufrêne
  • M. Gomelsky
  • A. Moroni
  • M. Ramstedt
  • K. P. Rumbaugh
  • T. Schulte
  • L. Sun
  • B. Åkerlund
  • U. Römling

Although biofilms have been observed early in the history of microbial research, their impact has only recently been fully recognized. Biofilm infections, which contribute to up to 80% of human microbial infections, are associated with common human disorders, such as diabetes mellitus and poor dental hygiene, but also with medical implants. The associated chronic infections such as wound infections, dental caries and periodontitis significantly enhance morbidity, affect quality of life and can aid development of follow-up diseases such as cancer. Biofilm infections remain challenging to treat and antibiotic monotherapy is often insufficient, although some rediscovered traditional compounds have shown surprising efficiency. Innovative anti-biofilm strategies include application of anti-biofilm small molecules, intrinsic or external stimulation of production of reactive molecules, utilization of materials with antimicrobial properties and dispersion of biofilms by digestion of the extracellular matrix, also in combination with physical biofilm breakdown. Although basic principles of biofilm formation have been deciphered, the molecular understanding of the formation and structural organization of various types of biofilms has just begun to emerge. Basic studies of biofilm physiology have also resulted in an unexpected discovery of cyclic dinucleotide second messengers that are involved in interkingdom crosstalk via specific mammalian receptors. These findings even open up new venues for exploring novel anti-biofilm strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)332-345
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • antimicrobial strategies, biofilm formation, cyclic di-nucleotide second messengers, extracellular matrix, underlying diseases

ID: 203871688