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.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

HPV prevalence 4.9 percent in tonsil tissue of healthy adults

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) and of high-risk HPV type 16 or 18 is 4.9 and 3.9 percent, respectively, in the tonsil tissue of healthy adults, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in ...

Dentistry

How caries-causing bacteria can survive in dental plaque

Cariogenic bacteria live in biofilm and attack dental enamel by converting sugar and starch into acids that dissolve out calcium from the enamel. This process can cause caries. The dissolution of calcium increases the concentration ...

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Biofilm

A biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells adhere to each other on a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS, which is also referred to as slime (although not everything described as slime is a biofilm), is a polymeric conglomeration generally composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces and can be prevalent in natural, industrial and hospital settings. The microbial cells 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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