Towards diagnostic guidelines for biofilm-associated infections

Authors

  • Luanne Hall-Stoodley,

    Corresponding author
    1. NIHR Respiratory BRU, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
    • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
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  • Paul Stoodley,

    1. National Centre for Advanced Tribology, Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
    2. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Sandeep Kathju,

    1. Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Niels Høiby,

    1. Department of Clinical Microbiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Department for International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Claus Moser,

    1. Department of Clinical Microbiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Department for International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • J. William Costerton,

    1. Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Annette Moter,

    1. Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • Thomas Bjarnsholt

    1. Department of Clinical Microbiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Department for International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Correspondence: Luanne Hall-Stoodley, University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Mailpoint 218, C Level, West Wing, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Rd, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK. Tel.: +44 0 2380 794989; fax: +44 0 2380 795023; e-mail: L.Hall-Stoodley@soton.ac.uk

Abstract

Biofilms associated with the human body, particularly in typically sterile locations, are difficult to diagnose and treat effectively because of their recalcitrance to conventional antibiotic therapy and host immune responses. The study of biofilms in medicine today requires a translational approach, with examination of clinically relevant biofilms in the context of specific anatomic sites, host tissues, and diseases, focusing on what can be done to mitigate their pathologic consequences. This review, which grew out of a discussion session on clinical biofilms at the 5th ASM Biofilm Conference in Cancun, Mexico, is designed to give an overview of biofilm-associated infections (BAI) and to propose a platform for further discussion that includes clinicians, medical microbiologists, and biofilm researchers who are stakeholders in advancing the scientific pursuit of better diagnosis and treatment of BAI to mitigate their human and healthcare costs. It also highlights the need for better diagnostic markers, which exploit the difference between planktonic and biofilm cells.

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