Biofilms – Summary
This week marks the end of our short series looking at different aspects of biofilms and their impact on wound healing. Although biofilms, synergistic colonies of microbes, have been a recognized phenomenon for decades, we still have no definitive effective strategy to combat them.
Challenges with Biofilms
The major difficulty in dealing with biofilms is that they are considerably more resistant to antimicrobial treatments than free-living bacteria. Even individual microbes that break away from the biofilm seem to retain this enhanced resistance. This means that standard treatments with conventional antibiotics are largely ineffective against biofilms. Unfortunately, however, if a biofilm is not managed effectively, it can have a considerable detrimental effect on wound healing.
Combination of Strategies
A combination of strategies needs to be applied in the management of biofilms. The wound must be thoroughly debrided, and the patient must be given systemic broad-spectrum antibiotics. The use of different biocides or antiseptics is also pivotal, with ionic nano-silver proving effective in some circumstances. New approaches to managing biofilms include the development of quorum-sensing inhibitors, anti-adhesion agents, and species-specific killing strategies. However, despite considerable research effort, these approaches are unlikely to be available soon.
We hope that you have enjoyed this short series on biofilms. If you are interested in learning more about the interesting phenomenon of biofilms, you may wish to consider studying for a certification in wound care. For more details on how to achieve wound certification, and the career and patient benefits this may offer, please visit www.woundeducators.com.
I’m really amazed at how biofilms have become like well,,, slough or necrosis but have a fighting power… When I was first introduced to biofilms , it was before my wound certification and the Nurse practicioner who informed me told me the difference between a “biofilm ” and slough is that the “biofilm” can be washed off or removed easily with saline and gauze or wound cleansing with salilne… if it didn’t come off readily it was “slough” . The “biofilm was a thin whitish or yellow coating over the wound bed… Is this the case or not?