Use of Immunodiagnostics for the Early Detection of Biofilm Infections

Part of the Springer Series on Biofilms book series (BIOFILMS, volume 3)


Biofilm infections are a therapeutic and diagnostic challenge due to their location and persistence. Specimen culturing is the golden standard for diagnosing bacterial infections, but recent investigation of the ability of this technique to grow bacteria from a biofilm has indicated that it is not reliable. Other testing modalities, such as PCR and serology assays, are either nonspecific for biofilm infections or they include the risk of contamination during sampling. Therefore, accurate diagnosis of an infection usually takes days and requires extensive test procedures, leading to increased healthcare costs and discomfort to the patient. In recent years, many attempts have been performed to design and set up new serology diagnostic assays to obtain early, noninvasive diagnosis of infections sustained by biofilms colonizing native tissues and medical implants. This chapter describes such attempts, including some examples of tests that could eliminate many of the obstacles related to early diagnosis in biofilm infection. The new tools could also allow new medical and surgical approaches to monitor and treat biofilm infections associated with many medical implants.


Prosthetic Joint Infection Teichoic Acid Graft Infection Lateral Flow Assay Pharm Biomed Anal 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity «La Sapienza»RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyHospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff
  4. 4.Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, Department of Biological SciencesNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

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