DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms11081934 ISSN: 2076-2607

Microbial Biofilms: Applications, Clinical Consequences, and Alternative Therapies

Asghar Ali, Andaleeb Zahra, Mohan Kamthan, Fohad Mabood Husain, Thamer Albalawi, Mohammad Zubair, Roba Alatawy, Mohammad Abid, Md Salik Noorani
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms that grow on surfaces and are embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. These are prevalent in various natural and man-made environments, ranging from industrial settings to medical devices, where they can have both positive and negative impacts. This review explores the diverse applications of microbial biofilms, their clinical consequences, and alternative therapies targeting these resilient structures. We have discussed beneficial applications of microbial biofilms, including their role in wastewater treatment, bioremediation, food industries, agriculture, and biotechnology. Additionally, we have highlighted the mechanisms of biofilm formation and clinical consequences of biofilms in the context of human health. We have also focused on the association of biofilms with antibiotic resistance, chronic infections, and medical device-related infections. To overcome these challenges, alternative therapeutic strategies are explored. The review examines the potential of various antimicrobial agents, such as antimicrobial peptides, quorum-sensing inhibitors, phytoextracts, and nanoparticles, in targeting biofilms. Furthermore, we highlight the future directions for research in this area and the potential of phytotherapy for the prevention and treatment of biofilm-related infections in clinical settings.

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