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Biofilms

This information is intended for Healthcare Professionals only.

 
 
 
 

 

Biofilms

 

Acticoat pseudomonas imageA biofilm is a thin layer of microorganisms adhering to the surface of the wound, surrounded by the polysaccharide polymers that they secrete.

 

Once a group of microorganisms have ‘teamed up' they can be more difficult to remove and can have increased resistance to topical antibiotics and antimicrobials.


How can we manage biofilms?
Prevention presents the most feasible solution. Furthermore, the speed with which biofilms can form necessitates rapid therapeutic intervention, i.e. as biofilms form quickly, the faster we can kill/manage the bacteria when a wound is identified as infected, then the more likely we are to limit the formation of a biofilm.

 

Importantly, Acticoat works in as little as 30 minutes to kill bacteria (in-vitro) (giving less time for biofilms to form), you'll learn more about this later in the course.

 

Biofilms can be a confounding factor in wound management as they show inherent resistance to antibiotic therapy. In biofilms, bacteria form communities are protected by a self-secreted polysaccharide matrix which provides a barrier against host defence mechanisms and against the actions of antibiotics. In addition, these protected colonies can undergo genetic mutation to alter their sensitivity to antimicrobials. Biofilms can act as reservoirs for infection, intermittently releasing single viable bacterial cells which lead to local infections or weakening of the collagen matrix in recently healed wounds causing breakdown and re-ulceration.

 

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