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Biofilm Protects Bacteria and Causes Chronic Infection

Biofilm cluster, UC Berkeley

Biofilm cluster, UC Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley researchers hope to attack something called biofilms, which house bacterial infections protecting them from antibiotics.

New research using a super-resolution light microscopy,  reveals how bacteria forms communities and a protective coat called a biofilm. Researchers say the tenacious bacteria and its coating causes lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients, chronic sinusitis, cholera and infections around medical implants such as pacemakers, joints and stents.

Many patients with mesh implants also have constant chronic infections around the implant.

Published in the July 13th edition of the journal Science, UC Berkeley’s Department of Physics and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences researchers observed within six hours a single bacterium that created a cluster. The bacterium then secretes a glue-like protein that creates a protective shell.

The sensitive microscope could differentiate between the different color dyes applied strategically to observe the different stages of biofilm development, creating a 3-D movie.

One way to rid biofilm and its immune response in the sinuses is to surgically remove the tissue. When there is a sticky plaque of biofilm housing infection around an implant, the way to address the infection is to remove the device and replace it with a sterilized implant.

“Eventually we want to make these bugs homeless,” said one researcher in a news release here.

About 80 percent of human infections are related to biofilms. Researchers hope to be able to target the glue-like protein to dissolve the bacteria’s housing so antibiotics have access.

Learn More:

Molecular Architecture and Assembly Principles of Vibrio cholerae Biofilms (July 13, 2012 Science)

5 Comments

  1. InAz says:

    This makes sense because while the hernia mesh was inside me, my blood work showed constant elevated WBC and I suffered from chronic infection. I would be given all kinds of oral and IV antibiotics but either it did not help enough or the infection would proliferate again. Doctors knew I had an infection but could not locate where or why.

    • kim says:

      H, InAz ,

      I was just wondering if you have taken macrobid , and if so how long did it work for you, My, Urologist say I’m to take one every time I lift something for I get infections every time I pick up my grandson, I try not to pick him up even when he cry to me My pain maneg-Dr. tell’s me to sit when he ask’s me to pick him up sometime that’s very hard, I had mesh put in my 3yrs. ago last march and only found out last weak had some other device as well some kind of sling, It doesn’t get any better . I’ve started to read here and it help’s to see what other’s are taken, I was told by my pharmacy to take magnesium So I’m trying 400mg a day then will try 2 tablets’ have you ever tried massage therapy, I’ve been reading diff, site and their was one on the type of sling where it is attached to the Pudendal nerve, I’m going to ask my Dr, for the best therapy for to massage this site for I asked my husband 3 day’s ago to massage and it seemed to help ok I’m rambling on here . Sorry really Im just lonely in this pain.

      • InAz says:

        Dear Kim, I have been on every antibiotic that was available. The reason you are probably having frequent infection is because when you carry your Grandson the mesh is likely being pushed to your bladder and or the urethra. I totally know how difficult it is to be told you can not carry your babies. I was not able to hold my son since he was 9th old. And yes, it is very heartbreaking saying no to a child when they hold their arm out to you to hold them. But you have to say no. Of course there were times you can’t help but catch them at our expense, like if they are jumping off from the table or somewhere high. I mean their safety is always paramount.

        When I had the mesh I could not enjoy massages or even a light touch because my whole body w

      • InAz says:

        Oops, I hit the wrong key. I meant to say I was too inflamed to be touched at all, was in excruciating pain. Youmust get the mesh out, that is the only way you will improve. You should not be on chronic antibiotics because when the time comes when you need it, you may build up tolerance.

        I also know the loneliness, it caused me to be suicidal. There are FB support sites and other websites, please go on the sites and speak your mind and share your pain. Tvtno.org truthinmedicine.us.com

      • InAz says:

        I’m using my phone excuse the typos…meant to say 9mos old…

        Go to FB there are some mesh support sites.

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