Special Reviews

Bacterial Biofilms: A Common Cause of Persistent Infections

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Science  21 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5418, pp. 1318-1322
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5418.1318

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Bacteria that attach to surfaces aggregate in a hydrated polymeric matrix of their own synthesis to form biofilms. Formation of these sessile communities and their inherent resistance to antimicrobial agents are at the root of many persistent and chronic bacterial infections. Studies of biofilms have revealed differentiated, structured groups of cells with community properties. Recent advances in our understanding of the genetic and molecular basis of bacterial community behavior point to therapeutic targets that may provide a means for the control of biofilm infections.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: everett-greenberg{at}uiowa.edu

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