‘Bacterial Biofilms’ in News

IAS Prelims 2023

Biofilm is an association of micro-organisms in which microbial cells adhere to each other on a living or non-living surfaces within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance.

Bacterial biofilm is infectious in nature and can results in nosocomial infections. According to study, about about 65% of all microbial infections, and 80% of all chronic infections are associated with biofilms.

Biofilm formation is a multi-step process starting with attachment to a surface then formation of micro-colony that leads to the formation of three dimensional structure and finally ending with maturation followed by detachment.

During biofilm formation many species of bacteria are able to communicate with one another through specific mechanism called quorum sensing. It is a system of stimulus to co-ordinate different gene expression.

Bacterial biofilm is less accessible to antibiotics and human immune system and thus poses a big threat to public health because of its involvement in variety of infectious diseases.

A greater understanding of bacterial biofilm is required for the development of novel, effective control strategies thus resulting improvement in patient management.

Biofilm formation is a highly complex process, in which microorganism cells transform from planktonic to sessile mode of growth.

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.

Biofilms can be present on the teeth of most animals as dental plaque, where they may cause tooth decay and gum disease.