The dynamics of biofilms

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The colonization of tissue and other surfaces by microbial cells results in the formation of a biofilm. The biofilm mode of existence results from selective pressures in the environment. Biofilms afford microbes greater access to nutrients, protection from antimicrobial agents and provide a buffer to changing conditions in the environment. Micro-organism that colonize a surface often compete with each other for resources but eventually form consorts which promote their survival. The population structure that develops within a biofilm on living tissue frequently reflects the health of the host organism and its surrounding environment. Displacement of a consort that is beneficial to the host by one that exhibits debilitating characteristics is a common feature of disease. A better understanding of the environmental factors that control microbial activity and population structure within biofilms should promote the development of novel approaches to control the undesirable effects of microbial colonization of surfaces relevant to medical, industrial and environmental processes.




Geesey, G.G., M.W. Stupy, and P.J. Bremer, "The dynamics of biofilms," International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 30(2-3):135-154 (1992).
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