Inhibitors of Biofilm Production
Biofilms consist of a multicellular community of microorganisms adhered to a surface and encased within a self-produced extracellular matrix. Infections caused by bacteria residing within a biofilm exhibit elevated levels of resistance to both antibiotics and the host immune response, which makes treatment a significant challenge and places a considerable burden upon healthcare settings. One approach toward overcoming such infections centers on the development of therapeutic entities that inhibit biofilm formation. These inhibitors should render bacteria susceptible to conventional antibiotics and have the potential to be a valuable addition to our antibacterial armory as adjuvant therapies. A diverse range of biofilm inhibitors have been explored, both in terms of molecular structure and mechanism of biofilm inhibition. Examples presented in this chapter include small molecule inhibitors of bacterial signaling and communication pathways, such as quorum sensing inhibitors and two-component system inhibitors. The identification of natural products possessing anti-biofilm activity from plants and marine organisms is described, as is the use of antimicrobial peptides to inhibit biofilm formation. Finally, enzymatic approaches to the inhibition of biofilm formation include the development of quorum quenchers and degradation of the biofilm matrix by various DNases, proteases and glycosidases are discussed.