News Reports & Publications

Mechanisms of Biofilm Stimulation by Subinhibitory Concentrations of Antimicrobials

Michael Ranieri, a Master’s student within Dr. Lori Burrows’ lab at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, investigates bacterial biofilm formation.

Biofilms are dense communities of bacteria encased within a protective layer of sugars, lipids, and DNA.

Biofilms provide increased protection from antibiotics and host defenses, and recent studies have shown that exposing bacteria to subinhibitory concentrations of antimicrobials can provoke physiological changes that lead to increased biofilm production and potential therapeutic failure.

In a recent issue of Current Opinion in Microbiology, Burrows’ lab MSc student Michael Ranieri describes the current hypotheses regarding the mechanisms underlying biofilm stimulation in response to subinhibitory antimicrobials, and proposes ways in which this response may be used to discover new antimicrobials or to design new compounds that can increase the efficacy of current treatments.

Read the full review paper here.