Antibiotic-induced biofilm formation


Surface-attached colonies of bacteria known as biofilms play a major role in the pathogenesis of device-related infections. Biofilm colonies are notorious for their resistance to suprainhibitory concentrations of antibiotics. Numerous studies have shown that subminimal inhibitory concentrations of some antibiotics can act as agonists of bacterial biofilm formation in vitro, a process that may have clinical relevance. This article reviews studies demonstrating that low-dose antibiotics induce bacterial biofilm formation. These studies have provided important information about the regulation of biofilm formation and the signaling pathways involved in global gene regulation in response to cell stressors. It is still unclear whether antibiotic-induced biofilm formation contributes to the inconsistent success of antimicrobial therapy for device infections.

Int J Artif Organs 2011; 34(9): 737 - 751

Article Type: REVIEW



Jeffrey B. Kaplan

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