Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms
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Bacteria that adhere to implanted medical devices or damaged tissue can encase themselves in a hydrated matrix of polysaccharide and protein, and form a slimy layer known as a biofilm. Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in the biofilm mode of growth contributes to the chronicity of infections such as those associated with implanted medical devices. The mechanisms of resistance in biofilms are different from the now familiar plasmids, transposons, and mutations that confer innate resistance to individual bacterial cells. In biofilms, resistance seems to depend on multicellular strategies. We summarize the features of biofilm infections, review emerging mechanisms of resistance, and discuss potential therapies.
Stewart PS and Costerton JW, "Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms," Lancet, 14 July 2001 358(9276):135–138.