Approaches to biofilm-associated infections: the need for standardized and relevant biofilm methods for clinical applications

Matthew Malone, Darla M. Goeres, Iain Gosbell, Karen Vickery, Slade Jensen, Paul Stoodley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The concept of biofilms in human health and disease is now widely accepted as cause of chronic infection. Typically, biofilms show remarkable tolerance to many forms of treatments and the host immune response. This has led to vast increase in research to identify new (and sometimes old) anti-biofilm strategies that demonstrate effectiveness against these tolerant phenotypes. Areas covered: Unfortunately, a standardized methodological approach of biofilm models has not been adopted leading to a large disparity between testing conditions. This has made it almost impossible to compare data across multiple laboratories, leaving large gaps in the evidence. Furthermore, many biofilm models testing anti-biofilm strategies aimed at the medical arena have not considered the matter of relevance to an intended application. This may explain why some in vitro models based on methodological designs that do not consider relevance to an intended application fail when applied in vivo at the clinical level. Expert commentary: This review will explore the issues that need to be considered in developing performance standards for anti-biofilm therapeutics and provide a rationale for the need to standardize models/methods that are clinically relevant. We also provide some rational as to why no standards currently exist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Biofilm
  • effectiveness
  • MBEC
  • standard methods


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