How biofilms evade host defenses

Emmanuel Roilides, Maria Simitsopoulou, Aspasia Katragkou, Thomas J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The steps involved during the biofilm growth cycle include attachment to a substrate followed by more permanent adherence of the microorganisms, microcolony arrangement, and cell detachment required for the dissemination of single or clustered cells to other organ systems. Various methods have been developed for biofilm detection and quantitation. Biofilm-producing microorganisms can be detected in tissue culture plates, using silicone tubes and staining methods, and by visual assessment using scanning electron microscopy or confocal scanning laser microscopy. Quantitative measurement of biofilm growth is determined by using methods that include dry cell weight assays, colony-forming-unit counting, DNA quantification, or XTT 2,3-bis (2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-5-[(phenylamino) carbonyl]-2H-tetrazolium hydroxide reduction assay. Upon infection, innate immune defense strategies are able to establish an immediate response through effector mechanisms mediated by immune cells, receptors, and several humoral factors. We present an overview of the life cycle of biofilms and their diversity, detection methods for biofilm development, and host immune responses to pathogens. We then focus on current concepts in bacterial and fungal biofilm immune evasion mechanisms. This appears to be of particular importance because the use of host immune responses may represent a novel therapeutic approach against biofilms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberMB-0012-2014
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'How biofilms evade host defenses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this