About this Research Topic
Biofilms are the natural lifestyle of microorganisms in nature. They are defined as a microbial community irreversibly associated with biotic or abiotic surfaces, encased in an extracellular polymeric matrix of their production. Several changes occur during this process; genetic, physiological and metabolic differences are observed compared to their planktonic counterparts.
It has been shown that several infections are caused by microorganisms forming biofilms. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are part of the most common human infections. The etiological agents comprise Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis), Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Additional microorganisms are emerging as UTI agents, such as Acinetobacter baumannii. Most uropathogens can form biofilms and this capacity could be related to the reoccurrence and persistence of the infection. This strategy can help microorganisms to survive in such a stressful environment with low nutrients and to evade the immune response of the host. Antimicrobial resistance is observed among uropathogens, not only due to intrinsic resistance but also due to biofilms serving as a mechanism of resistance.
One strategy developed by uropathogenic E. coli consists of forming biofilm-like intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs) that protect bacteria from neutrophils, antibiotics and it is related to the high reoccurrence of E. coli UTI infections. On the other hand, P. mirabilis employs another strategy, by producing urease. This enzyme hydrolyzes urea with the concomitant production of carbon dioxide and ammonia. The urine pH will increase and produce calcium crystals and magnesium ammonium phosphate precipitates. P. mirabilis biofilms are crystalline and this is a serious issue in catheterized patients, as it may block the catheter with consequences for the patients. These are two examples of the biofilm lifestyle of uropathogens and as the interest in biofilm is increasing day by day we seek to improve the knowledge in this field.
This Research Topic aims to contribute to understanding the role of biofilms produced by uropathogens and other microorganisms causing urinary tract infections. We seek original research articles, reviews, mini-reviews, perspectives and brief research reports that may include (but not limited to):
- Characterization of uropathogenic biofilm formation
- Multi-species biofilms in the urinary tract
- Host response to biofilms
- Diagnosis of biofilm infections
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Biofilm eradication and novel therapeutic strategies
Keywords: Biofilms, Infection, Uropathogens, Urinary Tract Infections
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