About this Research Topic
Biofilm-related infections are a major challenge in human health as they are often associated with chronic infection. Common microorganisms responsible for such infections are bacteria and/or yeasts colonizing, for instance, skin, soft tissues, urinary tract, bones (osteomyelitis), endocardial surfaces (infective endocarditis). The pathogenesis of bacteria biofilm-related infections is complex and involves the formation of a biofilm on implanted medical devices and/or soft tissues, a process regulated by bacteria quorum sensing and influenced by host environment (plasma proteins, platelets). To make matters worse, mature biofilms can shed planktonic bacteria and/or biofilm fragments, which might reach other locations in the body making the identification of the source of infection difficult. The main problem with biofilm-associated bacteria is their resistance to both immune system and antibiotic therapies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new strategies to control and prevent these infections.
The eradication of biofilm-related infections relies mainly on antibiotic treatments or, for antibiotic-refractory biofilm-related infections, on surgical interventions, whenever the source of infection is known. In the last years, novel and alternative methods, in addition to the standard prevention (local disinfection), have been proposed to prevent and treat biofilm infections (e.g. antibiotic-coated implanted devices, antibiotic-loaded microbubbles). Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of biofilm-related infections is of great importance in the development of new treatments. Several novel in vitro models for biofilm formation attempt to reproduce the real world, for instance, by including host cells, like platelets and/or neutrophils in their system. In such settings, the mechanism of resistance of clinical microbial isolates can be studied and antibiotics cocktails can be in vitro-tested to propose the suited treatment to the patient in a reasonable time frame.
In this context, the aim of this Research Topic is to gather Original Research and Review articles centered on cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of biofilm-related infections, and how this knowledge can be exploited to improve treatments and prevention, with particular interest in infective endocarditis.
Specific areas to cover may include, but are not limited to:
1) Pathogenesis of biofilm-related infections
• Cardiac device-related infective endocarditis
• Host-bacteria interactions in infective endocarditis
• Host-predisposition to infective endocarditis
2) Therapeutic strategies to overcome antibiotic resistance
• Role of antiplatelet agents in infective endocarditis
• From preclinical models to therapeutic strategies
• Novel approaches, beyond antibiotics and prevention of biofilm formation
The image has been developed in collaboration with Alex Hego.
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