Investigating the Role of Biofilms in Pathogenic Infections

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Jose V. Lopez

Second Advisor

Peter E. Murray


In nature, about 80% of bacteria exist as biofilm communities, and according to the Centers for Disease Control more than 65% of infections are caused by biofilms (Hall-Stoodley, 2004). Biofilms can be defined as aggregate microbes that adhere to biological or non-biological and are frequent throughout a diverse range of organisms. Sessile bacterial cells are less susceptible to disinfection when compared to non-attached planktonic cells, which can generate pathogenic-associated infections. In the biofilm mode of growth, the maturation and production of exopolysaccharides (EPSs) encloses the bacterial cells in a protective layer of matrix, and offers biofilms resistance structures to common forms of antimicrobial agents. Previous studies reveal the variation of biofilms in gene expression patterns and morphology, as well as physiology.· An improved understanding of bacterial biofilm formation and disassembly can be beneficial for the development of novel disinfectants.

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