Biofilms that impact on human health

Reginald K. Whiteley, Aniko Pajkos, Karen Vickery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Bacteria that form biofilms by attaching to surfaces and secreting a polymeric matrix have an enormous impact in everyday life. In medicine, biofilms form on medical implants and within human tissue as in cystic fibrosis; in industry they cover equipment surfaces. Biofilms protect their inhabitants from various adverse environmental conditions including biocides and antibiotics. Bacteria residing in biofilms can be many times more resistant to antimicrobials than their free-floating counterparts. While the mode of biofilm formation is largely understood, the means of eliminating and controlling them once formed is still the subject of research. Biofilms encountered in medicine are especially challenging owing to the sensitive nature of the human tissue and medical devices. In this paper we discuss biofilm development, its impact on human health and the problems that are associated with biofilm control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Volume32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes

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