HAIs: Types and Pathogens

The Hidden Danger of Biofilms

  • Posted: August 15, 2019
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Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms that can attach to both biotic and abiotic surfaces and represent one of the greatest challenges in controlling HAIs. Due to their inherent design, including a self-made exopolysaccharide matrix “shield”, biofilms allow bacteria to proliferate and thrive on skin, medical devices, surgical instruments, and hospital surfaces, largely unaffected by external environmental factors….and antibiotics. Biofilms that develop on indwelling medical devices arguably represent the biggest threat because they account for the vast majority of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Preventing medical device-related biofilm HAIs requires knowledge of how they develop and what the associated risk factors are. This includes an understanding of the role that a patient’s skin plays as a source for biofilm infection and the steps that can be taken to mitigate that risk.

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