A discovery made by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, could lead to new ways of treating chronic infections. They have identified three key regulators required for the formation and development of biofilms.
Biofilms communities of bacteria in self-produced slime may be found almost anywhere that solids and liquids meet, whether in nature, in hospitals or in industrial settings. Biofilms are implicated in more than 80 percent of chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases caused by bacteria, including ear infections, gastrointestinal ulcers, urinary tract infections and pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Biofilms are difficult to eradicate with conventional antimicrobial treatments since they can be nearly 1,500-fold more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic, free-floating cells. Biofilms also pose a persistent problem in many industrial processes, including drinking water distribution networks and manufacturing.