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Understanding biofilms 

Understanding biofilms
Chapter:
Understanding biofilms
Author(s):

Rose Cooper

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198716006.003.0006
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date: 25 May 2022

Biofilms are communities of mixed microbial species that exist as aggregates enveloped within a collectively secreted polymeric matrix attached to either living or non-living surfaces. The constituent cells exhibit marked changes in structure and function during the transition from free living planktonic organisms to members of a sessile mature biofilm community, which enhance their ability to evade host immune responses and to tolerate antimicrobial interventions and subpopulations within the biofilm community exhibit a variety of physiological states. Biofilms have been implicated in many persistent human infections and in wounds they are associated with delayed healing. This chapter reviews the characteristics of biofilms with a view to explaining their impact on wound infection and healing. The difficulties in detecting and treating wound biofilms are also described.

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