Department of Microbiology and Immunology,
The University of Western Ontario, and
The Lawson Health Research Institute,
London, ON, Canada
London Food, Water & Environmental Microbiology Laboratory,
CPHL, London, UK
CAMR, Porton Down, Salisbury, UK
Biofilms are a complex heterogeneous consortium of microorganisms associated with surfaces and interfaces and have been shown to play an important role both in causing disease and for maintaining health.
Microorganisms growing in biofilms may cause or prolong infections through, colonisation of implants or prosthetic devices and problems resulting from dental plaque formation. Modern medical practices and implant technology have alerted clinicians to the implications of biofilmassociated infections due to their persistence and resistance to antimicrobial treatment. Biofilms are also shown to be important in maintaining health by supporting commensal microflora that may assist in preventing pathogen infectivity.
This book is the first to deal specifically with biofilms associated with different medical areas including: the contamination of medical devices such as catheters, orthopaedic prostheses, renal dialysis, shunts, pacemakers and drug delivery systems; infection of tissue surfaces as in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, on damaged tissue surfaces (i.e. burns and surgery), bone (osteomyelitis), cardiac tissue (endocarditis) and genitourinary tract; and dental plaque, the cause of caries and periodontal disease.
For each of these topics the book provides an overview of current research in medical biofilms focusing on detection and monitoring the problems associated with biofilm and current strategies for control and eradication. To fully understand infectious biofilms, a current summary of the basic concepts in biofilm research and future prospects are included.
The editors intend that the book be used as an aid in teaching and research. Persons with an interest in medical diseases will find this book fascinating to read and the format is aimed at complimenting many hospital teaching courses for clinicians as well as medical and dentistry students.
The publication came about due to the increased awareness of the importance of adherent microbial populations in human health and disease, yet lacking a comprehensive text on information and research investigating the problems of medical biofilms, how to detect them and ultimately how to control their presence. Industrial environments have been ahead of the medical profession on their understanding and research progress on biofilms and biofouling of surfaces by microorganisms. The companion volume ‘‘Industrial Biofouling’’ (2000) discusses biofilms as a persistent problem and how to control them in potable water systems, industrial water systems and the food industry.
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