Microbial biofilms are complex structures formed by cells embedded in an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix, a mixture of macromolecules such as exopolysaccharides; proteins; extracellular DNA; and, in some cases, outer membrane vesicles. EPS composition may differ with bacterial strains, culture conditions, and biofilm age. Biofilm formation ensures antibiotic tolerance and protection from the host immune system, making microbial biofilms difficult to eradicate. Biofilms are responsible for chronic infections, and biofilms developed by a wide range of microorganisms are considered a “virulence factor”. The variability in the composition of the biofilm matrix and in biofilm development as well as tolerance versus the antimicrobials used in conventional therapies suggest the need for multi-targeted or combinational therapies aimed at the eradication of biofilms. Antimicrobial tolerance is due to different mechanisms such as the presence of an extracellular matrix that does not allow or slow the penetration of drugs as well as the presence of a metabolic dormancy adopted by many cells inside a biofilm. Furthermore, polymicrobial biofilms represent an additional problem that makes necessary the use of antimicrobials that are efficacious versus all pathogens in biofilms restricting the success of species-specific biofilm-targeting strategies. New antimicrobials and anti-biofilm agents can be of synthetic or natural origin (the biological activity of natural extracts without a proper chemical characterization will not be considered).
The proposed Special Issue is a collection of articles focused on biofilm removal strategies/compounds as well as biofilm formation inhibition aimed at (a) the control of biofilm infections and (b) the eradication of a preformed biofilm and/or biofilm monitoring in medicine, food, industry, and natural environments. Our aim is to collect and disseminate some of the most significant and recent contributions in the interdisciplinary areas of microbiology, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacology, with particular emphasis on the feasibility of clinical applications of these strategies. Submissions of original research articles, short communications, review articles, opinion articles, hypotheses, and theory articles are encouraged.
Prof. Dr. Simone Carradori
Dr. Rossella Grande