About this Research Topic
Most microorganisms form biofilms as part of their survival mechanisms, and biofilms are thus ubiquitous in nature. A general feature of biofilms is that they are persistent and difficult to eradicate, as they are more tolerant than their planktonic counterparts to environmental stressors, including host defences, antimicrobials and disinfectants.
It is therefore not surprising that biofilms are renowned for the problems they cause in clinical settings, food production facilities, and industrial plants, where they can serve as long-term reservoirs of unwanted microorganisms, such as pathogens and resistant organisms. Biofilms are also associated with chronic infections, where they often contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease.
While the role of biofilms in antimicrobial tolerance is well established, it is becoming increasingly clear that biofilms also impact the evolution and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance. The WHO has defined antimicrobial resistance as one of the ten biggest health threats we are facing today, and substantial research efforts worldwide are devoted to studies on resistance, so far mainly in planktonic microorganisms. However, as biofilms are known to be hotspots for genetic evolution, affecting both the emergence and the spread of resistance genes, they also should be important targets for control of antimicrobial resistance development and dissemination.
The scope of this Research Topic is to provide a comprehensive overview of the present knowledge of the role of biofilms in evolution and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial and fungal species. Other microorganisms, as well as resistance to disinfectants, antiseptics and other biocides, may also be of interest.
We seek Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory and Perspective articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• The mechanisms and interactions contributing to evolution and transfer of resistance genes within biofilms.
• The effect of environmental conditions, including presence of antimicrobials and other resistance drivers, on resistance evolution and transfer in biofilms.
• The ability of resistant microorganisms to form, join and persist within biofilm reservoirs.
• Development of resistome in biofilms, and its dynamics.
• Prevention and intervention measures.
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, evolution, biofilm, resistome
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.