Biofilms present complex assemblies of micro-organisms attached to surfaces. They are dynamic structures in which various metabolic activities and interactions between the component cells occur. When phage come in contact with biofilms, further interactions occur dependent on the susceptibility of the biofilm bacteria to phage and to the availability of receptor sites. If the phage also possess polysaccharide-degrading enzymes, or if considerable cell lysis is effected by the phage, the integrity of the biofilm may rapidly be destroyed. Alternatively, coexistence between phage and host bacteria within the biofilm may develop. Although phage have been proposed as a means of destroying or controlling biofilms, the technology for this has not yet been successfully developed.
Authors: Sutherland, Ian W., Hughes, Kevin A. ORCID record for Kevin A. Hughes, Skillman, Lucy C., Tait, Karen