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A micrograph showing spherical cells attached to a matrix on a surface. A photo of green water in a bucket.
Medical devices that are inserted into a patient’s body often become contaminated with a thin biofilm of microorganisms enmeshed in the sticky material they secrete. The electron micrograph (left) shows the inside walls of an in-dwelling catheter. Arrows point to the round cells of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria attached to the layers of extracellular substrate. The garbage can (right) served as a rain collector. The arrow points to a green biofilm on the sides of the container. (credit left: modification of work by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; credit right: modification of work by NASA)

We are all familiar with the slimy layer on a pond surface or that makes rocks slippery. These are examples of biofilms—microorganisms embedded in thin layers of matrix material ( [link] ). Biofilms were long considered random assemblages of cells and had little attention from researchers. Recently, progress in visualization and biochemical methods has revealed that biofilms are an organized ecosystem within which many cells, usually of different species of bacteria, fungi, and algae, interact through cell signaling and coordinated responses. The biofilm provides a protected environment in harsh conditions and aids colonization by microorganisms. Biofilms also have clinical importance. They form on medical devices, resist routine cleaning and sterilization, and cause health-acquired infections. Within the body, biofilms form on the teeth as plaque, in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, and on the cardiac tissue of patients with endocarditis. The slime layer helps protect the cells from host immune defenses and antibiotic treatments.

Studying biofilms requires new approaches. Because of the cells’ adhesion properties, many of the methods for culturing and counting cells that are explored in this chapter are not easily applied to biofilms. This is the beginning of a new era of challenges and rewarding insight into the ways that microorganisms grow and thrive in nature.

Questions & Answers

what is mutation
Cynthia Reply
Hi, I'm new here. I'm Bello Abdul Hakeem from Nigeria.
BELLO Reply
welcome on board
Kamaluddeen
Thanks brother I'm an undergraduate. I hope to study for MBBS.
BELLO
pls guys help me out
Linda
what is limitation of plate
Linda
limitation of plate load test . there are some that should be considered while performing load test which are given below, this test is usually performed on relatively similar plate ,usually 1 or 2 square foot area the reason is that the plate of greater are the economically not feasible
yemi
Mechanism of bacterial pathogenicity
rashida Reply
Toxicity
Ibrahim
write a short note on Algea
najaatu Reply
green minutes plants organisms that are produced in turf.
Prince
Algae is a kind of a photosynthetic organism, which is usually grown in the moist areas. These are usually the simple plants that grow near to the water bodies. It contains a kind of chlorophyll pigments that act as a primary coloring agent.
Avi
they are eukaryotic and most lived in fresh water. they are photosynthetic that's, they contain chlorophyll and store starch in discrete chloroplast.
Prince
are bacteria important to man
just Reply
yes, depending on the type of bacteria .eg the normal florals, the latic acid batteries etc are important to man
Lois
I mean latic acid bacterial
Lois
I don't understand this topic
Jane Reply
what topic is that
Rose
sahi kon hai bhosri ke
saurabh Reply
define metabolism of carbohydrates with example
Thavasi Reply
what is sterilization a
Sani
the process of keep equipment free from bacteria
shar
is it only bacteria?
Lois
no undesirable fungi and contamination also.
Khushbu
what is streak plate method
Offikwu
what is the biofilm
Dimingu
metabolism is the sum of all the biochemical reaction required for energy generation and use of that energy to synthesize cell materials from small molecules in environment.
Alex
boclenia
Pooja
what are granulocytes
Shawnitta Reply
e.coli
Sukhdeep
granulocytes are type of WBCs which contains granules in the cytoplasm
Owili
what is mutation
Cynthia
it is the interchange of genes from their normal sequence
Esther
is an heritable change of the base-pair sequence of genetic material
Elizabeth
suitable example for prokaryotes
Suvetha Reply
one of the possible early sources of energy was
Suvetha
uv radiation and lighting
Anisha
e coli is the example of prokaryotes
Sukhdeep
archaea too
Noel
which is the specific virus causing typhoid
Jeremiah Reply
it's caused by a virulent bacteria called Salmonella Typhi
Sarah
write the life cycle of HIV
Firomsa Reply
describe the internal and external structure of prokaryotic cell in terms of there appearance and functions
Lenia Reply
compare and contrast similar structures found in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
Lenia
control of microorganisms
ISTEFAZUL Reply
what is sterilization
Sani
how can a doctor treat a person affected by endospore forming bacteria in his/her wound?
Mambo Reply
define disinfectant
Sani
the process of killing
shar
the process of killing microorganisms
shar

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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