The creation of biofilm, by gram-negative bacteria, is a survival mechanism that some bacteria and fungi have developed to adapt to their surroundings, especially in hostile environments such an acid filled stomach. Under the protection of biofilm, bacterial cells in the biofilm become tolerant and resistant to antibiotics as well as the immune response of the host. This phenomenon increases the difficulties for clinicians in treating patients as well as for the pharmaceutical industry to develop medication capable of combating infections caused by these bacteria and their biofilm.
Combating Biofilm Overview:
Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered the signaling molecule, called cyclic-di-GMP, which activates biofilm formation. The most virulent classification of bacteria falls into the Gram-negative group and they are all known as biofilm producers. Members of this group include Helicobacter pylori, E. coli, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and many others. Biofilm is a protective coating or shield; made up of sugars, DNA, and protein; that enables these bacteria to evade detection and makes them almost impossible to kill.
Very soon we will have a proven way to disrupt these bacteria created force-fields, either by break them it down or by disrupting their communication networks. This will be done through bioengineering other bacteria or synthesizing enzymes, which can be administered directly to a wound or through pharmaceutical administration. Until this day, we still have our hands partially tied when it comes to easily or successfully treating infections caused by gram-negative bacteria.
I have been researching biofilm and natural solutions to disrupt biofilm since 2008. There are many natural products that possess biofilm disrupting capabilities. Each works its magic in a different. Some bind to the minerals that are part of its make-up, while others help to work on its polysaccharide component, and others work on the communication network. When the day comes that we have an effective handling for biofilm, my job and that of every other doctor will be so much easier. It’s coming soon.
Original Article: ‘Off switch’ enzyme in biofilms identified to prevent formation