Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Patent-pending probiotic could disrupt Crohn's disease biofilms

Probiotics typically aim to rebalance bacteria populations in the gut, but new research suggests they may also help break apart stubborn biofilms. Biofilms are living microbial communities—they provide a haven for microbes ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Off-patent drug appears promising as broad-spectrum antifungal

By screening a library of off-patent drugs, scientists have identified a compound with promising broad-spectrum antifungal activity. The compound, alexidine dihydrochloride, warrants further development as a pan-fungal, anti-biofilm ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Clay fights MRSA, other superbugs in wounds

The use of mud or wet clay as a topical skin treatment, or poultice, is a common practice in many cultures. In fact, the concept of using mud as medicine goes back to the earliest times.

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Biofilm

A biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells are stuck to each other and/or to a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS, which is also refered to as "slime," is a polymeric jumble of DNA, proteins and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces, and represent a prevalent mode of microbial life in natural, industrial and hospital settings . The cells of a microorganism growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium. Microbes form a biofilm in response to many factors, which may include cellular recognition of specific or non-specific attachment sites on a surface, nutritional cues, or in some cases, by exposure of planktonic cells to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics . When a cell switches to the biofilm mode of growth, it undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are differentially regulated .

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