A Widespread Problem with Serious Impact
From humans to the environment, biofilms are naturally occurring bacterial colonies that attach to surfaces. This widespread prevalence can cause problems for humans and the natural and industrial systems on which they rely.
According to the US National Institutes of Health, biofilms account for over 80 percent of microbial infections in the human body.18 In fact, chronic biofilm infections can affect every organ system in the human body, including skin.13 With the continuing rise in antimicrobial resistance, healthcare providers have placed a greater emphasis on correctly diagnosing and managing biofilm-associated infections, especially in non-healing chronic wounds.
With the explosion of diabetes and vascular disease, the world is seeing a rise in untreatable chronic wounds, resulting in an increased burden that impacts patients’ quality of life.12,15,23
In the US, chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million patients costing over $50 billion annually on their treatment.52 Collectively these chronic wounds contribute to significant morbidity, mortality, and increased healthcare expenditures.14
Surgical site infections (SSI) occur as a result of intraoperative microbial contamination that can occur at the incision site and in the organ space.53 Post-operative SSI are a significant cause of morbidity and can result in up to $34,000 in additional patient costs.47,54
Biofilms have been known to form on surfaces in hospital rooms, on medical devices, surgical instruments, and other healthcare tools, posing potential infection risks.20,21
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