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Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances

Year: 2015  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 10  |  Page No.: 592 - 622

Chemical and Ultrastructural Characteristics of Mycobacterial Biofilms

Tarun Kumar Sachan, Virendra Kumar, ShoorVir Singh, Saurabh Gupta, Kundan Kumar Chaubey, Sujata Jayaraman, Mukesh Sikarwar, Sunil Dixit and Kuldeep Dhama

Abstract

Mycobacterial biofilm is a structured community of bacterial cells enclosed in a self-produced polymeric matrix and adherent to an inert or living surface, which constitutes a protected mode of growth that allows survival in hostile environment. Biofilms can be defined as communities of mycobacteria attached to a surface. It is clear that microorganisms undergo profound changes during their transition from planktonic (free-swimming) organisms to cells that are part of a complex, surface-attached community. These changes are reflected in the new phenotypic characteristics developed by biofilm mycobacteria and occur in response to a variety of environmental signals. The biofilm-forming microorganisms have been shown to elicit specific mechanisms for initial attachment to a surface, formation of micro colony leading to development of three-dimensional structure of mature biofilm. They differ from their free-living counterparts in their growth rate, composition and increased resistance to biocides, antibiotics and antibodies by virtue of up regulation and/or down regulation of approximately 40% of their genes. This makes them highly difficult to eradicate with therapeutic doses of antimicrobial agents. A greater understanding of mechanism of their formation and survival under sessile environments may help in devising control strategies.

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