Taking on Pathogenic Biofilms: An Apple a Day?

When finally ready to commit, as a college undergraduate, to a specific area of biological science,  I chose microbiology because of a fascination with infectious disease and its causation and cure. And let’s be clear, my interest was primarily in bacteriology—the big microbes. (The  virologists I knew back then teased that I wasn’t smart enough to study viruses, the small microbes; we’ll save that debate for another day.)

Bacterial biofilms were just beginning to come on the microbiological radar back in the 1980s, and were not yet part of the microbiology curriculum. However, we now know that biofilms are important, both as pathogenic organisms and in good health. This research on a means of interrupting pathogenic biofilms, while not harming commensal biofilms, both caught my attention and provided some fascinating information on the state of biofilms and biofilm research.

Biofilms are groups or large colonies of bacterial cells that adhere to and form coatings on living and nonliving surfaces. Such surfaces can include human and animal tissues, the floor and walls of a shower or even a medical device, such as a heart valve or indwelling catheter. Continue reading “Taking on Pathogenic Biofilms: An Apple a Day?”