chapter  16
24 Pages

Host Response to Biofilms

BySusan Meier-Davis

Biofilms are the physical result of an adaptive achievement by many bacterial species. Indeed, these stratified, multi-cellular bacterial structures are reminiscent of higher eucaryotic organisms comprised of analogous component systems. Their outer polysaccharide integument encloses cells in various stages of growth. Further, this integument or slime protects the cells from the onslaught of host defenses or environmental stress. The cells nutritional needs are met via primitive channels transporting nutrients in and metabolic wastes out of the biofilm structure. Cell propagation occurs through gene induction with consequent dispersion and attachment at distant locations. The biofilm’s well-organized structure and function significantly contribute not only to its survival but also its pathogenesis and persistence.