Breaking the biofilm barrier

Bacterial biofilms compromise the use of implanted medical devices such as stents, catheters and ventilators because they can shed bacteria and cause infection elsewhere in a patient. These surface-attached bacterial communities are very difficult to eradicate as they are held together by a polymeric matrix, creating barrier-like properties that protect the bacteria from antimicrobials and the host immune

system.

A group of European researchers has now developed glycopeptide dendrimers that target a virulence factor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which enabled the scientists to disperse P. aeruginosa biofilms in vitro, thus rendering the bacteria vulnerable to antibacterial agents in suspension.1

P. aeruginosa is a common cause of opportunistic nosocomial infections and can establish colonies in a broad range of environments and surfaces, including open wounds

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