About this Research Topic
Insights into new strategies to combat biofilms Biofilms are microbial communities where cells are attached to each other and to surfaces and embedded in a self-produced extracellular matrix. Biofilms are ubiquitous, dominating all habitats on the surface of Earth, including the human body: 60-80% of all human infections are caused by biofilm and their formation is a key virulence factor for numerous species involved in chronic infections, helping in the evasion of host immune responses. In addition, environmental biofilms enable the dissemination of genetic factors associated with drug resistance and virulence. The multifactorial nature of biofilm development and drug tolerance imposes great challenges for the use of conventional antimicrobials and implies the need for multi-targeted or combinatorial therapies. Both bacteria and fungi are capable of forming biofilms. Among bacteria, pathogenic species forming biofilms, include those of the genus Burkholderia, Pseudomonas, Vibrio, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, and Helicobacter. Biofilms are also relevant in the periodontal diseases provoked by bacteria such as Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Treponema denticola. The rise in immune-compromised individual (organ transplant recipients and patients on chemotherapy) infections caused by opportunistic yeasts have risen as a significant problem worldwide. For example, Candida auris is being shown as an emerged pathogen with a high mortality rate. Its presence as biofilms on dry surfaces has been demonstrated to be widespread in healthcare settings. Cryptococcus neoformans is another yeast capable of causing life threatening meningoencephalitis in patients with impaired immunity. Due to their eukaryotic nature, only few antifungal agents are available to combat fungal infections compared to antibacterials. Moreover, increased antifungal resistance and host-related adverse reactions have limited the antifungal arsenal against fungal biofilms and the development of novel compounds remains a major issue. Many approved and in clinical trial drugs have a natural origin. However, during the past two decades, the drug discovery efforts have shifted from nature derived to synthetic compounds. This shift, however, has not led to significance increase in drug productivity. Therefore, the field of natural product research should be expanded significantly. Within this scientific framework, the focus of this Research Topic will be the discovery of novel compounds to combat biofilm forming microorganisms. Especially encouraged are submissions of Original Research articles focusing on novel active compounds using validated biofilm bioassays or in vivo animal experiments. Studies that deal with chemical synthesis will be considered of interest only if the mechanism of action is well studied either in targeting the different stages of biofilm development (e.g., adhesion, motility, production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and quorum sensing phenomena), and inducing biofilm inactivation and removal by means of weakening, dispersion or disruption. Review articles are also welcome but will be only considered if they focus on current therapeutic strategies and drug tolerance mechanisms, including the extracellular matrix and dormant cells. Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.