Bacteriophages as an Alternative Strategy for Fighting Biofilm Development

Sylwia Parasion, Magdalena Kwiatek, Romuald Gryko, Lidia Mizak, Anna Malm
Pol J Microbiol
2014; 63 (2):
ICID: 1115547
Article type: Review article
IC™ Value: 8.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The ability of microbes to form biofilms is an important element of their pathogenicity, and biofilm formation is a serious challenge for today's medicine. Fighting the clinical complications associated with biofilm formation is very difficult and linked to a high risk of failure, especially in a time of increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Bacterial species most commonly isolated from biofilms include coagulase-negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp.. The frequent failure of antibiotic therapy led researchers to look for alternative methods and experiment with the use of antibacterial factors with a mechanism of action different from that of antibiotics. Experimental studies with bacteriophages and mixtures thereof, expressing lytic properties against numerous biofilm-forming bacterial species showed that bacteriophages may both prevent biofilm formation and contribute to eradication of biofilm bacteria. A specific role is played here by phage depolymerases, which facilitate the degradation of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and thus the permeation of bacteriophages into deeper biofilm layers and lysis of the susceptible bacterial cells. Much hope is placed in genetic modifications of bacteriophages that would allow the equipping bacteriophages with the function of depolymerase synthesis. The use of phage cocktails prevents the development of phage-resistant bacteria.

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