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Can Infectious Biofilm be Controlled by Blocking Bacterial Communication?

[ Vol. 5 , Issue. 6 ]


Alexandre Jose Macedo and Wolf-Rainer Abraham   Pages 517 - 528 ( 12 )


Many bacteria grow on surfaces forming biofilms but often high dosages of antibiotics can not clear infectious biofilms. Biofilms are controlled by a process called quorum-sensing triggered by species-specific, small, diffusible autoinducers (N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHL), small peptides or a furanosyl borate diester). Several herbal, animal and microbial extracts possess quorum-quenching activity but only few active compounds and synthetic analogues are known. However, quorum-sensing seems not to be the only way to control biofilms. Bacteria have mechanisms to dissolve their biofilms and return to planktonic lifestyle. Only few compounds responsible for the signalling of these processes are known but may open a completely novel line of biofilm control. Furthermore, controlling the attachment of bacterial by inhibiting the formation of pili is another option and some inhibitors have already been characterized. In this article different approaches to control bacterial biofilms are discussed together with the balance between biofilm formation and virulence.


Biofilm, quorum-sensing, quorum-quenching, microbial community, pilicides, host-pathogen interaction


Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Chemical Microbiology, Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.

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