A Global Problem

Biofilms pose a far-reaching threat to humans, animals and the environment. The continuing rise in antimicrobial resistance necessitates effective diagnosis and management of biofilm-associated infections.22 Collectively, infections contribute to significant morbidity, mortality and increased healthcare expenditures.14

Healthcare Economics

Biofilm have enormous impacts on healthcare economics. These resistant forms of bacterial infections are difficult to treat and have resulted in an estimated $94 Billion in annual direct costs in the US alone.50

What is Biofilm?

While approximately 10% of bacteria are free floating, the remaining 90% naturally form colonies called biofilms.55 As opposed to planktonic bacteria, biofilms are powerful communities that function as a single entity with behaviors and defenses that can produce chronic or recurrent infections.2,3

A Powerful Collective

Biofilms make bacteria stronger and more resistant to attack. This results in bacteria that are more tolerant to antimicrobial agents, disinfectants, and host immune defenses, which pose a prevailing problem to the health of both humans and animals.2,4,5,6,7

Bacteria in biofilms can become up to 1000-fold more resistant to antibiotics and biocides when compared to planktonic counterparts.20

The Role of the Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS) Matrix

Structured communities of bacteria are enclosed in a protective Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS) matrix that adheres to living tissue, natural and artificial surfaces, or to the community itself.  The EPS creates a physical barrier obstructing the penetration of antimicrobials, thereby making it difficult for such treatments to reach the biofilm bacteria for eradication and removal.23, 51

Just 10-20% of a wound biofilm is composed of microorganisms with the other 80–90% comprising EPS.8

Where do Biofilms Exist?

Biofilms affect nearly all aspects of human health, industry and food production.

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