Even with modern medical discoveries and advances, few effective means exist to combat antibiotic resistance in the clinical setting, and as such treating infections due to pathogens that exhibit it continues to be a formidable challenge for doctors and medical practitioners. Often, it is
found that antibiotic-resistant bacterial species have within their arsenals the ability to form what are called biofilms. Biofilms are communal, surface-associated assemblages of bacterial cells encased in polysaccharide matrix. Bacterial cells that live within such protective communities are usually more resistant to the effects of antimicrobial agents––like antibiotics––than planktonic (i.e., free-living) bacterial cells, often resulting in elevated levels of virulence and pathogenicity. Therefore, it stands to reason that novel treatments that specifically target the growth of bacterial
biofilms would be greatly beneficial in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria (colloquially called “superbugs”). This study in particular investigates whether supplemental lycopene has an inhibitory effect on the growth of Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms and whether this inhibition
can be synergistically enhanced when used with the broad-spectrum antibiotic, chlortetracycline. Previous studies have established the anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties of lycopene (which is a red-colored carotenoid and antioxidant), but have not investigated its antimicrobial properties in much detail. Obtained results using a standard crystal violet (CV) biofilm assay do suggest that biofilm inhibition increases with increasing supplemental lycopene
concentration, and that biofilm inhibition is more substantial when supplemental lycopene is allowed to exert its effects in conjunction with antibiotics like chlortetracycline. Studies involving similar assays are ongoing to corroborate the reproducibility and validity of the obtained results.
Biofilm growth on medical equipment and bacterial infections following operations have previously been treated with antibiotics. Although that method has helped kill the majority of the bacteria, it leaves a strain of stronger, antibiotic-resistant ones that have adapted to survive and reproduce. Boronic acid contains a plethora of properties, such as determining the presence of glucose, detecting cancer in an early phase, and measuring dopamine levels more accurately in the brain. This
research aims to explore another potential application of boronic acid because of its promising uses. Boronic acid is incorporated after the activation of surfaces with cool plasma. Plasma-activated surfaces polymerized in boronic acid can be applied to the biomedical and biotechnological domains as an antibacterial method to replace antibiotics on medical materials effectively. This will vastly improve the quality of medical equipment and sterilization within the medical and surgical fields.
This review examines the role probiotics can play in reducing and inhibiting the growth of biofilms that cause bacterial infections in humans. The use of probiotics as an inhibitory agent against biofilms is a new field of study that requires further research. As of now, there is little research or scientific literature to defend the health claims of several commercially sold probiotics. Also, biofilms are a fairly new field of study even though biofilms are the cause of most bacterial infections. Since biofilms have an increased antibiotic resistance, it has become increasingly more important to find alternative treatments for bacterial infections. However, there have been a couple of studies that have shown positive results for probiotics inhibiting the growth of different types of biofilms such as Lactobacillus acidophilus in patients with dental caries caused by the biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans. Specifically, the biosurfactant
of the probiotic was used to disrupt the biofilm. Another study was done on patients with Clostridium difficile infection who showed a decline in symptoms when treated with the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii as an additive to antibiotic treatments . While the oral health and gut health fields have started to utilize the benefits of probiotics, the effect of probiotics on the biofilms that cause infections for patients with medical devices has yet to be studied.