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admin | What Treats Bv | 23.10.2013
The bacteria called non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae are a common cause of infection in the upper respiratory tract. Researchers from the University of Southern California and the Oak Crest Institute of Science have discovered the link between antibiotics and bacterial biofilm formation leading to chronic lung, sinus and ear infections. During the study, non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) bacteria a common pathogen of humans was exposed to non-lethal doses of ampicillin, a class of antibiotics commonly used to treat respiratory, sinus and ear infections, or other beta-lactam antibiotics. Biofilms are highly structured communities of microorganisms that attach to one another and to surfaces. Webster believes modern medicine needs to find ways of detecting and treating biofilm infections before the bacteria are able to form these protective structures. A group of researchers from the US has moved a step closer to preventing infections of the common hospital pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, by revealing the mechanisms that allow the bacteria to rapidly clog up medical devices. Sharks, skates, and rays can detect very weak electric fields produced by prey and other animals using an array of unusual organs known as the ampullae of Lorenzini. Unique sections of coral DNA can indicate a higher tolerance to environmental stress, researchers have revealed for the first time.
Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have found possums in New Zealand prefer to eat leaves high in available protein, giving authorities new evidence to help them limit possum damage to New Zealand's forests.
Ninety per cent of Norway's two million pairs of cliff-nesting seabirds are located in nesting colonies above the Arctic Circle.
One of the scourges of infections in hospitalsa€”biofilms formed by bacteria that stick to each other on living tissue and medical instruments, making them harder to removea€”can be tricked into dispersing with the targeted application of nanoparticles and heat, researchers have found.
The University of New South Wales study, jointly led by Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer of the School of Chemical Engineering and deputy director of Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, appears in today's issue of Nature's open access journal Scientific Reports. The formation of biofilms is a growing and costly problem in hospitals, creating infections that are more difficult to treata€”leading to chronic inflammation, impaired wound healing, rapidly acquired antibiotic resistance and the spread of infectious embolisms in the bloodstream.
They also cause fouling and corrosion of wet surfaces, and the clogging of filtration membranes in sensitive equipmenta€”even posing a threat to public health by acting as reservoirs of pathogens in distribution systems for drinking water.

Acute infections mostly involve planktonic bacteria, which are usually treatable with antibiotics. Although biofilms were first recognised in the 17th century, their importance was not realised until the 1990s, when it became clear that microbes exist in nature more often in colonies made up of lots of different microorganisms that adhere to surfaces through slime excreted by their inhabitants. The discovery of how to dislodge biofilms by the UNSW team - jointly led by Dr Nicolas Barraud, formerly of UNSW and now at France's Institut Pasteura€”was made using the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. When biofilms want to colonise a new site, they disperse into individual cells, reducing the protective action of the biofilm. The UNSW team found that by injecting iron oxide nanoparticles into the biofilms, and using an applied magnetic field to heat thema€”which induces local hyperthermia through raising the temperature by 5A°C or more - the biofilms were triggered into dispersing.
They achieved this using iron oxide nanoparticles coated with polymers that help stabilise and maintain the nanoparticles in a dispersed state, making them an ideal non-toxic tool for treating biofilm infections. July 20, 2015 - Biofilms are tough, opportunistic, highly antibiotic resistant bacterial coatings that form on catheters and on medical devices implanted within the body. Biofilmsa€”mats of bacteria similar to the plaque that grows on teetha€”frequently coat the surfaces of catheters, and of various medical implants and prostheses, where they can threaten lives or lead to failure of the implants. Biofilms frequently coat the surfaces of catheters, and of various medical implants and prostheses, where they can cause life-threatening infections. This is like using a sledge hammer to crack a walnut; massively over engineered and complicated. The study results, published in the current issue of PLOS ONE, illustrate how bacterial biofilms can actually thrive, rather than decrease, when given low doses of antibiotics.
The dose of the antibiotic was not enough to kill the bacteria which allowed the bacteria to react to the antibiotic by producing glycogen, a complex sugar often used by bacteria as a food source, to produce stronger biofilms when grown in the laboratory.
Therefore, bacteria forced into forming stronger biofilms will become more difficult to treat and will cause more severe chronic infections. The difficulties of treating biofilm infections, which can be up to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics, have prompted some physicians to propose a gradual move away from traditional antibiotic treatments and toward non-antibiotic therapies.

They are created in cells through a process called gene expression, which uses instructions from stretches of DNA called genes to build proteins. However, when bacteria have had enough time to form a biofilma€”within a human host or non-living material such as dialysis cathetersa€”an infection can often become untreatable and develop into a chronic state.
Thus began a global race to understand biofilms, at a time when it was also realised they were responsible for the majority of chronic infections. This is a model organism whose response to the technique the researchers believe will apply to most other bacteria. It is this process the UNSW team sought to trigger, making the bacteria again susceptible to antimicrobial agents.
Iron oxide nanoparticle-mediated hyperthermia stimulates dispersal in bacterial biofilms and enhances antibiotic efficacy, Scientific Reports (2015). This layer is highly protective for the organisms within it, and when new bacteria are produced they stay within the slimy layer.
Adults will suffer protracted lung infections as the bacteria hunker down into their protective slime, and children will have repeated ear infections. With the introduction of antibiotic-produced glycogen, the biofilms have an almost endless food source that can be used once antibiotic exposure has ended. What may appear to be antibiotic resistance when an infection does not clear up may actually be biofilms at work.
Starving the pathogens that form the biofilm is much easier, and the biofilm itself is consumed. Use of probiotics is a much simpler, easier and less expensive process to address pathogen biofilm.

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