Microbial Biofilms

Biofilm is an association of micro-organisms in which microbial cells adhere to each other on a living or non-living surfaces within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance. Bacterial biofilm is infectious in nature and can results in nosocomial infections. Aggregate of microorganisms in which cells that are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) adhere to each other and/or to a surface.  Biofilm formation is a multi-step process starting with attachment to a surface then formation of micro-colony that leads to the formation of three dimensional structure and finally ending with maturation followed by detachment. During biofilm formation many species of bacteria are able to communicate with one another through specific mechanism called quorum sensing. It is a system of stimulus to co-ordinate different gene expression. Bacterial biofilm is less accessible to antibiotics and human immune system and thus poses a big threat to public health because of its involvement in variety of infectious diseases. The cells within the biofilm produce the EPS components, which are typically a polymeric conglomeration of extracellular polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and DNA. Because they have three-dimensional structure and represent a community lifestyle for microorganisms, they have been metaphorically described as "cities for microbes". Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces and can be prevalent in natural, industrial and hospital settings. Microbes form a biofilm in response to various different factors, which may include cellular recognition of specific or non-specific attachment sites on a surface, nutritional cues, or in some cases, by exposure of planktonic cells to sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics. When a cell switches to the biofilm mode of growth, it undergoes a phenotypic shift in behavior in which large suites of genes are differentially regulated