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Anaerobes in Biofilm-Based Healthcare-Associated Infections

Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 830)

Abstract

Anaerobic bacteria can cause an infection when they encounter a permissive environment within the host. These opportunistic pathogens are seldom recovered as single isolates but more frequently are involved in polymicrobial infections, together with other anaerobes or aerobes. Nowadays it’s known that some anaerobic bacteria are also able to grow as biofilm even if this feature and its role in the healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are still poorly characterized. As consequence, the involvement of biofilm-forming anaerobic bacteria in infections related to healthcare procedures, including surgery and medical devices implantation, is underestimated.

The current knowledge on the role of biofilm-growing anaerobes in HAIs has been here reviewed, with particular reference to respiratory, intestinal, intra-abdominal, wound, and urogenital tract infections. Even if the data are still scarce, the ability to form biofilm of opportunistic anaerobic species and their possible role as causative agents of HAIs should alert even more clinicians and microbiologists on the need to search for anaerobes in clinical samples when their presence can be reasonably assumed.

Keywords

Anaerobic Bacterium Clostridium Difficile Infection Prosthetic Joint Infection Polymicrobial Infection Anaerobic Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to Dr Paola Mastrantonio, Dr. Patrizia Spigaglia, Dr. Fabrizio Barbanti and Dr. Rita Cardines from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, for their advices in cultivation, isolation and identification of anaerobes in clinical samples. The generous gift of Propionibacterium acnes clinical isolates by Professor Anna Maria Cuffini, University of Turin, is also gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Microbial Biofilm LaboratoryFondazione Santa Lucia IRCCSRomeItaly

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