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Chapter 22 : Biofilms and Device-Related Infections

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Abstract:

The study of bacterial biofilms is more advanced in the engineering field than in the medical field, but the simple realization that biofilms are involved in chronic infections opens the way for a massive transfer of valuable information from the engineering realm to the medical realm and for its application to the treatment of infectious diseases. first came to the attention of biofilm microbiologists because it predominates in cold alpine streams and grows predominantly (99.99%) in biofilms in this natural habitat. The Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) has established the fact that most biofilms assume this microcolony and water channel structure, including all biofilms formed by the few grampositive species examined to date, and the most significant consequence of this new observation is that we must now explain how these elaborate structures are established and maintained. If we try to imagine the bacterial survival strategies that would have been effective in the earliest stages of the development of life on this planet, growth in stationary biofilms that were protected from unfavorable conditions would prevent bacteria from being swept into acid or boiling downstream pools and from surges of threatening water from upstream sources. The role of host defenses in controlling biofilm infections is discussed in the chapter. There is a growing conviction that antibiotics are losing their ability to control bacterial infections because the bacteria have mobilized all of their survival strategies in the face of this frontal attack.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22

Key Concept Ranking

Microbial Ecology
0.6369719
Environmental Microbiology
0.60775024
Antibacterial Agents
0.5076909
Bacterial Diseases
0.5061542
Outer Membrane Proteins
0.4932141
0.6369719
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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Diagrammatic representation of the cellular structure of a microbial biofilm showing the directly ovserved shapes of matrix-enclosed microcolonies and intervening water channels, in which convective flow occurs.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Isobar map of dissolved oxygen concentration as measured directly in a living biofilm by the use of a microeclectrode, showing that the centers of microcolonies can be essentially anoxic, even when the biofilm is growing in ambient air.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Polycrylamide gel electrophoresis gel showing the pattern of production of OMP's by cells of in the biofilm mode of growth (lane 5) versus production by cells in the planktonic mode of growth (lanes 1 to 4 and 6). The differences in OMP production between these cells indicate that the biofilm phenotype differs profoundly from the planktonic phenotype (H. Yu and J. W. Costerton, unpublished data)

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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Image of FIGURE 4
FIGURE 4

Scanning electron micrograph of an biofilm on an endocardial pacemaker lead, showing spherical bacterial cells embedded in dehydration-condensed matrix material. These biofilm cells were resistant to a 6-week course of very high-dose antibiotic therapy.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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Image of FIGURE 5
FIGURE 5

Scanning electron micrograph of a mixed-species bacterial biofilm on the copper component of a Copper 7 IUD worn by an asymptomatic patient.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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Image of FIGURE 6
FIGURE 6

Transmission electron micrograph of a matrix-enclosed microcolony of cells in the lung of a rat with a model infection designed to mimic cystic fibrosis in human patients. Note the dehydration-related shrinkage of the matrix material and the dark “crust” of immune complex material surrounding the microcolony.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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Image of FIGURE 7
FIGURE 7

Confocal scanning laser micrograph of a silver-coated sewing cuff fabric designed for a mechanical heart valve. This thread had been exposed to cells of , which had colonized its surface to produce matrix-enclosed microcolonies containing living (green) and a few dead (orange and red) cells in a developing biofilm.

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Partial list of human infections involving biofilms

Citation: Costerton J, Stewart P. 2000. Biofilms and Device-Related Infections, p 423-439. In Nataro J, Blaser M, Cunningham-Rundles S (ed), Persistent Bacterial Infections. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818104.ch22

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