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Together we stand: bacteria organize to survive hostile zones
Date:11/13/2007

ation in a colony, with highly disordered groups of cells found at sharp corners but not in the circular shaped microchambers.

Understanding how bacteria produce biofilms is important to researchers developing better ways to combat the diseases associated with them, Levchenko pointed out. For example, people who suffer from cystic fibrosisa genetic disorder that affects the mucus lining of the lungsare susceptible to a species of bacteria that colonizes the lungs. Patients choke on the colonys byproducts. Chronic urinary tract infections result from bacterial communities that develop inside human cells. And biofilms cause problems in tissues where catheters have been inserted or where sutures have been used.

You can put a patient on antibiotics, and it may seem that the infection has disappeared. But in a few months, it reappears, and it is usually in an antibiotic-resistant form, Levchenko says. To explore possible treatments, Levchenko said, the microfluidic device could be used as a tool to rapidly and simultaneously screen different types of drugs for their ability to prevent biofilms.


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Contact: Mary Spiro
mspiro@jhu.edu
410-516-4802
Johns Hopkins University  
Source:Eurekalert

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