Published on March 4, 2014
Presented By- Deepak
Introduction A biofilm is a complex aggregation of microorganisms growing on a solid surface, i.e. in a bed of polymer material which they themselves have made. Biofilms may be found on essentially and environmental surface in which sufficient moisture is present.
A Biofilm Primer Biofilm primer is composed of populations or communities of microorganisms adhering to the environmental surfaces. These microorganisms are usually encased in an extracellular polysaccharide that they themselves synthesize and thus forming communities. Their development is most rapid in flowing systems where adequate nutrients are available.
Where biofilms are found? Typical locations for biofilms production include 1.Rocks 2.Surfaces in marine or fresh water environment. Biofilms associated with living organisms. These communities are composed of a range of different types of organisms, both autotrophic and heterotrophic. Tissue surfaces such as teeth and intestinal mucosa develop a complex aggregation of microorganisms and thus forming biofilms.
• This figure is of Human dental plague.It shows ability of oral bacteria to store iodophilic polysaccharides or glycogenlike molecules inside their cells. This prolonged exposure leads to decalcification of tooth enamel. • Microbial Mats are specialized microbial communities composed mainly of photosynthetic prokaryotes. This microbial mat in a roadside puddle formed quickly during summer.
Formation of biofilms Biofilms tend to form wherever a surface on which bacteria can grow. Biofilm forms when bacteria adhere to surface in aqueous environment and begin to excrete slimy, glue like substance that can anchor them to all kinds of material. Biofilm forms:a)On solid substrate in contact with moisture. b)On soft tissue surface in living organisms. c)At liquid air interface.
Process of biofilm formation
Structure of Biofilms Biofilm structures take a wide variety of forms depending on their age and growing conditions. This structural complexity allows bacteria deep within the biofilm to have access to nutrients carried by the convective flow of water. The BAP protein (Biofilm associated protein) which presents a structural organization similar to other surface proteins in a number of species of bacteria.
Antibiotic Resistance of biofilms Bacteria in biofilms are extremely resistant to antibiotics. During the development of a chronic infection the bacteria form community structures known as biofilms that are like cities of bacteria. Living in groups gives the bacteria properties that they do not have as individuals. They are also impervious to the body's natural immune defense system. Biofilm infections are a major medical problem.
Anti-biofilm defense mechanism of human body. Lactoferrin is a component of the body's antibacterial defense system. Bacteria when grown in the presence of small amounts of lactoferrin were unable to develop into biofilms. As a consequence, these bacteria remained vulnerable to antibiotics and other antimicrobial substances. Lactoferrin causes bacteria to roam across a surface.
Anti-biofilm defense mechanism of humans continued… Lactoferrin traps iron, making it unavailable to the bacteria. Iron is a critical nutrient for bacteria and is difficult to acquire from the environment. When they sense iron levels are low, the bacteria keep moving rather than establishing complex communities in an area where a critical nutrient is in short supply.
Genetic changes prevent antibiotic resistance of biofilms Biofilms highly resistant to antibiotics. A subset of genes in a bacterium behave differently. Mutations in biofilm genes cause changes in biofilm growth and maintenance. Proteins are important targets aimed at treating biofilms.
Bioreactor A water treatment reactor ie a bioreactor was devised that serves as a minibiological purification plant for servicing a single home or a few households. The efficient design of the bioreactor reduces the size and the expense of a water treatment plant and also makes it amenable for the recirculated water used for aquaculture.
Working of bioreactor The bioreactor contains a series of plastic hollow particlelike carriers on which a biofilm grows rapidly. The biofilm causes contaminants to decompose. On its outer surfaces, the biofilm is abraded as the plastic particles rub against each other due to the flow in the reactor. The abrasive action of the intense, heavy rubbing of the carriers causes contaminants to decompose. The bioreactor continuously removes dead microorganisms from the exposed surfaces, and the microfilm carriers are always appearing with a new active biofilm.
Biofouling Biofouling or biological fouling is the undesirable accumulation of microorganisms, plants, algae, and animals on submerged structures, especially ships' hulls. Biofouling also occurs 1.On the surfaces of living marine organisms. 2.In membrane systems such as membrane bioreactors. 3.As fouling in cooling water cycles of large industrial equipments and power stations. 4.In groundwater wells 5.In the exterior and interior of ocean-laying pipes. Fouling causes huge material and economic costs in maintenance of mariculture, shipping industries, naval vessels, and seawater pipelines.
Biofouling continued… Biofouling is divided into 1)microfouling - biofilm formation and bacterial adhesion 2) macrofouling -attachment of larger organisms. In order to minimize the impacts of foulers, many underwater structures are protected by antifouling coatings. Coatings, however, have been found to be toxic to marine organisms. Anti-fouling is the process of removing the accumulation, or preventing its accumulation. In the latter case it has been shown to retard the seawater flow through the pipe and has to be removed with the tube cleaning process.
Biofilms Impact Whether it's the disgusting yellow film coating your teeth or the slippery crud clogging your kitchen sink, slime is something most of us want to eliminate and not cultivate. Biofilm impact can be seen in the neighbouring figure:
Threats of Biofilms Biofilms can be a serious threat to health especially in patients in whom artificial substrates have been introduced. These recurrent infections are due to the accumulation of mixed biofilms on the artificial surfaces provided by the catheter or other implant. In vitro experiments suggest that bacteria encased in biofilms may be 50 to 500 times more resistant to chemotherapy than planktonic bacteria of the same strain. Fragments of biofim that slough off at intervals can spread the infection to distant locations within the body.
Most common destruction caused by biofilms. Microbial Ecology of Biofilms in Beef Processing Facilities Oral Bacteria May Predict Pregnancy Outcomes Periodontal disease ie- periodontitis caused by oral bacteria. Biofilms Inside Bladder Cells May Cause Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Destructions by biofilms continued.. Biofilms in Urinary and Foley Catheter. Bacterial Biofilms Biofilms, source of Recurrent Tonsillitis. Chronic Middle Ear Infections Linked To Resistant Biofilm Bacteria. Lungs of cystic fibrosis are infected with Bacterial Biofilms.
Destruction by biofilms continued.. Mechanical Heart Valve Biofilms. Cholera Bacteria Focuses on Biofilm Formation. Microbial biofilms in food industry. Biofilm formation in ship’s hulls.
Benefits of Biofilms Humans have made considerable use of microbial biofilms, primarily in the area of habitat remediation. 1.Water treatment plants 2.Septic systems associated with private homes remove pathogens and reduce the amount of organic matter in the water 3.Biofilms Removes Drinking Water Contaminants ie waste water treatment plants. 4.Snottites, Other Biofilms Hasten Cave Formation
Preventive Measures Viruses are Build to Combat Harmful Biofilms with the help of metagenomic technique. Effectiveness of ozone, heat and chlorine for destroying common food spoilage bacteria in synthetic media and biofilms. Preventing Biofilms Could Help Fight TB Raisins Fight Oral Bacteria.
Preventive measures continued.. Herbal Treatment for Recurring Urinary Tract Infections by biofilms. UV Light, Coatings Reduce Bacterial Adhesion up to 50 Percent. Monochloramine Treatment Not as Effective in Protecting Drinking Water.
References Biofilm-Science and Technology by Luis.F.Melo Industrial Biofouling detection, Prevention and control by Janes Walker Susanne Surman Jana Jass. Trinet, F; Heim, R; Amar, D; Chang, HT; Rittmann, BE Water Science & Technology. Vol. 23, no. 7-9, pp. 1347-1354. 1991. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm International journal of food Microbiology Volume 42, Issue1 Textbook of biotechnology “Control of pollution”(biological method of biofilteration)Das.H.K.2004 pg no 11155-1159 2nd edition Industrial biotechnology –Problems and Remedies by Indu Shekhar Thakur pg no 44-68. http://www.google.co.in/ Biotechnology A to Z, edition3 by William Bains. Sailing World article.
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