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Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(5), 1374-1393; doi:10.3390/ph3051374

Combining Biofilm-Controlling Compounds and Antibiotics as a Promising New Way to Control Biofilm Infections

 and *
Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Chemical Microbiology, Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2010 / Revised: 20 April 2010 / Accepted: 30 April 2010 / Published: 11 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotics)
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Many bacteria grow on surfaces forming biofilms. In this structure, they are well protected and often high dosages of antibiotics cannot clear infectious biofilms. The formation and stabilization of biofilms are mediated by diffusible autoinducers (e.g. N-acyl homoserine lactones, small peptides, furanosyl borate diester). Metabolites interfering with this process have been identified in plants, animals and microbes, and synthetic analogues are known. Additionally, this seems to be not the only way to control biofilms. Enzymes capable of cleaving essential components of the biofilm matrix, e.g. polysaccharides or extracellular DNA, and thus weakening the biofilm architecture have been identified. Bacteria also have mechanisms to dissolve their biofilms and return to planktonic lifestyle. Only a few compounds responsible for the signalling of these processes are known, but they may open a completely novel line of biofilm control. All these approaches lead to the destruction of the biofilm but not the killing of the pathogens. Therefore, a combination of biofilm-destroying compounds and antibiotics to handle biofilm infections is proposed. In this article, different approaches to combine biofilm-controlling compounds and antibiotics to fight biofilm infections are discussed, as well as the balance between biofilm formation and virulence.
Keywords: biofilm; microbial community; quorum-sensing; quorum-quenching; antimicrobial therapy biofilm; microbial community; quorum-sensing; quorum-quenching; antimicrobial therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Estrela, A.B.; Abraham, W.-R. Combining Biofilm-Controlling Compounds and Antibiotics as a Promising New Way to Control Biofilm Infections. Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3, 1374-1393.

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