Chapter 5 : Biofilm Development and Its Genetic Control

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The human commensal is the leading fungal colonizer of implanted medical devices and a frequent cause of nosocomial infections ( ). Several species, including , are part of the mucosal flora of most healthy individuals and reside in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. These organisms are thus poised to cause infection when a suitable niche becomes available. The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is an additional risk factor for infections, probably because bacterial competitors that are eliminated would otherwise keep fungal populations in check. The extreme resistance of biofilm cells to antifungal therapy is a further complication, and often the infected device has to be removed and replaced to prevent recurrent infection ( ). Here, we focus mainly on biofilm formation by , the most intensively studied of the species.

Citation: Desai J, Mitchell A. 2015. Biofilm Development and Its Genetic Control, p 99-114. In Ghannoum M, Parsek M, Whiteley M, Mukherjee P (ed), Microbial Biofilms, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0005-2014
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Figure 1

Confocal micrographic images of a biofilm. These images present a biofilm grown in yeast extract-peptone-dextrose medium at 37°C. The sample was prepared by embedding and staining with Alexafluor 594-conjugated Concanavalin A, using a procedure modified from reference . (A) Side projection view. Hyphae are clearly visible in the upper portion of the biofilm, as are aggregates of brightly stained extracellular material. A color scale bar represents the 270-micron depth and indicates the pseudocolor scale used for apical projections. (B) Apical projection of basal (substrate-proximal) 50-micron region. A yeast cell layer is evident from the substrate level (red) to 50 microns above the substrate (blue). A few hyphae or pseudohyphae are visible as well. Some amorphous extracellular material is apparent. (C) Apical projection of the entire biofilm. Hyphae are visible above the basal layer, extending from ∼150 microns (green) to 270 microns (red) above the substrate. Yeast cells are seen in clusters at the ends of hyphae. (D) Three-dimensional reconstruction of the biofilm sample. Hyphae at the top of the biofilm are readily visible above the dense basal region.

Citation: Desai J, Mitchell A. 2015. Biofilm Development and Its Genetic Control, p 99-114. In Ghannoum M, Parsek M, Whiteley M, Mukherjee P (ed), Microbial Biofilms, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MB-0005-2014
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