, 2005; Jurcisek & Bakaletz, 2007; Weimer et al., 2010; Byrd et al., 2011; Nguyen et al., 2011) and direct analysis of human clinical specimens where identification is more challenging (Hall-Stoodley et al., 2006; Bjarnsholt et al., 2009a, b; Nistico et al., 2011). This has prompted the development of proposed criteria that can be used to demonstrate biofilm in vivo along with molecular methods that can distinguish specific
microorganisms in situ ex vivo. Where in vitro biofilms are grown de novo from isolated cultures and the development and molecular components of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are known to be specifically of bacterial origin, host-derived components in experimental in vivo infections may be morphologically similar to microbial biofilms necessitating the distinction of microbial biofilms in complex host buy Romidepsin environments in an animal model. Clinical biofilm-associated infections (BAI) are even more challenging, because the infectious agents are often unknown, and pathologically significant biofilm infections need selleck compound to be distinguished from microbial colonization with nonpathogenic organisms. A core definition of a biofilm
accommodating the diversity of BAI is needed. A biofilm is often defined as ‘an aggregate of microbial cells adherent to a living or nonliving surface, embedded within a matrix of EPS of microbial origin.’ Biofilm EPS is an amalgam of extracellular macromolecules including nucleic acids, proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids (Flemming & Wingender, 2010). Within the biofilm, microbial cells are physiologically distinct from planktonic or single, free-floating cells of the same organism; however, at present, this crucial distinction is not a simple determination that can be evaluated by the tests and examinations usually employed in medical diagnostic work-ups. Classically, bacteria exhibit recalcitrance to antibiotics when
they are in biofilms. Pseudomonas aeruginosa exhibits higher tolerance to tobramycin and colistin when it is surface-attached in vitro Tyrosine-protein kinase BLK (Nickel et al., 1985; Alhede et al., 2011), compared with when it is planktonic. Although biofilms are typically described as being attached to a surface, they may also form at interfaces of spatially distinct microenvironments and as suspended aggregates. For example, an air–liquid interface can result in an aggregated mat of microbial cells just as well as those found on a solid surface-liquid interface. The notion that it is sufficient for a biofilm to be an aggregated mass of cells floating in liquid is supported by the observation that aggregates of a methicillin-sensitive strain of Staphylococcus aureus exhibit a much higher tolerance to the antibiotic oxacillin than single, planktonic, cells (Fux et al., 2004), and aggregates of P.