Article

Molecular mechanisms of compounds affecting bacterial biofilm formation and dispersal

Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 3.81). 02/2010; 86(3):813-23. DOI: 10.1007/s00253-010-2468-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacteria can switch between planktonic forms (single cells) and biofilms, i.e., bacterial communities growing on solid surfaces and embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substance. Biofilm formation by pathogenic bacteria often results in lower susceptibility to antibiotic treatments and in the development of chronic infections; thus, biofilm formation can be considered an important virulence factor. In recent years, much attention has been directed towards understanding the biology of biofilms and towards searching for inhibitors of biofilm development and of biofilm-related cellular processes. In this report, we review selected examples of target-based screening for anti-biofilm agents: We focus on inhibitors of quorum sensing, possibly the most characterized target for molecules with anti-biofilm activity, and on compounds interfering with the metabolism of the signal molecule cyclic di-GMP metabolism and on inhibitors of DNA and nucleotide biosynthesis, which represent a novel and promising class of biofilm inhibitors. Finally, we discuss the activation of biofilm dispersal as a novel mode of action for anti-biofilm compounds.

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    • "Also, the biofilm and their counterpart planktonic cells contrast considerably in their physiology, gene expression pattern, and even morphology. Since they are less sensitive to antimicrobial agents, controlling their growth could be significantly challenging once they are formed (Landini et al., 2010). Furthermore, this biofilm lifestyle ' s associated exogenous stress high tolerance , ineffectiveness to antibiotics or other biocide treatments in their eradication (Rendueles et al., 2013) makes use of antibiotics or other antimicrobial agents against a biofilm infection unproductive. "
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    • "(Rendueles and Ghigo, 2012). Additionally, numerous mechanisms promoting dispersal of existing biofilms have been revealed; these studies were recently reviewed (Kaplan, 2010; Landini et al., 2010; Boles and Horswill, 2011; McDougald et al., 2011; Yang et al., 2012; Oppenheimer-Shaanan et al., 2013; Solano et al., 2014) and are not dealt with here. In this review, we focus on mechanisms in which bacteria a priori limit their own biofilm development. "
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