Arm Yourself With Knowledge
We need to adapt and educate ourselves on how to combat, interrupt, and
destroy healthcare-associated infections.
by David Jagrosse
Healthcare-associated infections are running rampant within the healthcare system. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 1.2 million infections a year with
The Five Stages Of Biofilm Development
1. Initial reversible attachment of free swimming microorganisms to
2. Permanent chemical attachment, single layer, bugs begin making
3. Early vertical development
4. Multiple towers with channels between, maturing biofilm
5. Mature biofilm with seeding/dispersal of more microorganisms
Biofilm are typically a cause of infection as pieces break off or are
released causing inflammation, adhesions, and foreign body reactions.
The National Institute of Health estimates that biofilms account for over
80 percent of microbial infections in the body.
How Do They Communicate?
Biofilms communicate by what appears to be cell to cell signaling.
Science calls this “quorum sensing.” Certain bacteria release signals and
are able to even measure the concentration of these molecules within
their community. This allows them to adapt and survive as conditions
change. Think of antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance. The CDC states
that within the biofilm matrix, bacterial cells have the ability to alter their
growth rate and to turn on and off certain genes to adapt themselves to
their specific environment. This gene expression and the determination
of when to produce via dispersal may be regulated by quorum sensing.
Bacterial cells in a biofilm can even exchange genetic material with one
another to increase their resistance to antimicrobials.
What Strategies Can We Implement?
Biofilms on instruments act as a barrier to prevent effective sterilization.
They act as a protective barrier to cleaning agents and disinfectants. In a