Why is it an advantage when a compound inhibits biofilm formation but does not affect bacterial growth?

Go to the profile of Ramona Khanum
Ramona Khanum on Dec 23, 2015 • 4 answers
Some papers report that a compound "inhibits biofilm formation but does not affect bacterial growth". How is this good exactly? Because in my view, the compound will be much more preferred if it is able to inhibit biofilm formation AND bacterial growth, as there is no further multiplication and thus easier to combat the infection with current drug doses or common treatment methods.

Answers

Usually, during the course of biofilm formation bacteria gradually shift to dormancy by regulating metabolism. This process depends also on the nature and availability of nutrients and other factors in the extracellular milieu. Most of the available antimicrobials are able to act only on growing and/or metabolically active bacteria. For this reason, if a compound can inhibit biofilm formation then the available antimicrobials will be able to carry out their task. In addition, single-compound therapy has a higher probablity of inducing resistance. Combinatorial therapy using more than one compound directed at different targets may be an effective and efficient strategy to combat the emergence of resistance against a particular compound. Therefore, a compound that can inhibit biofilm formation is great considering the present scenario of emergence of multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria. The use of more than one compound to eradicate an infection has dose advantage by avoiding high doses of a particular compound.

Go to the profile of Dinesh Sriramulu
Dinesh Sriramulu on Dec 23, 2015

If a compound affects the growth of the microbe, then there is strong selection pressure for the organism to develop resistance. If it just affects biofilm formation without affecting growth it is less likely that resistance to the compound will occur.

Go to the profile of Diane McDougald
Diane McDougald on Jan 04, 2016

Great answers, I'd just like to add that biofilms also protect bacteria from phagocytic immune cells. If biofilms cannot form, then infections may be cleared naturally by the host.

Go to the profile of Ben Libberton
Ben Libberton on Jan 13, 2016

Great answers, I'd just like to add that biofilms also protect bacteria from phagocytic immune cells. If biofilms cannot form, then infections may be cleared naturally by the host.

Go to the profile of Ben Libberton
Ben Libberton on Jan 13, 2016