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 ...

Medical research

Stopping tooth decay before it starts—without killing bacteria

Oral bacteria are ready to spring into action the moment a dental hygienist finishes scraping plaque off a patient's teeth. Eating sugar or other carbohydrates causes the bacteria to quickly rebuild this tough and sticky ...

Immunology

Research team finds bacterial biofilms may play a role in lupus

Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type-1 diabetes are among more than a score of diseases in which the immune system attacks the body it was designed to defend. But just why the immune system begins its misdirected assault has ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Redirecting the natural immune response to disrupt bacterial biofilms

Most bacterial species prefer to live in biofilms, where they are protected from antibiotic treatments and can lead to chronic and recurrent diseases in humans. To address this problem, researchers at Nationwide Children's ...

Medical research

Bacteria help explain why stress, fear trigger heart attacks

Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms ...

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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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