Introduction

Biofilm communities are composed of a range of different types of microorganisms, both autotrophic and heterotrophic. Microbial mats are specialized microbial communities composed mainly of photosynthetic prokaryotes. It is also commonly associated with living organisms, both plant and animal. Yet other biofilms are not perceived as either bad or good, but rather are recognized to be an important part of the natural environment around us. The cost of society associated with biofilm is estimated to range in the billions of dollars annually. Biofilms are responsible for 65% of soft tissue and wound infections and the main cause of endocarditic, medical implants, and cystic fibrosis-associated infections. Interestingly, these biofilms still exist off the coast of Australia, seemingly uncharged over that vast time. In industry, biofilms are related to food and drinking water contamination, metal surface corrosion, reduction heat transfer, clogging water, air filters, and pollution of environment. On the positive side, there is a great beneficial potential in controlling biofilms as these participate in bioremediation, oil recovery, biofuel production, fermentation processes, and agricultural soil enrichment. Biofilms are presently garnering much attention but more as a curiosity than as the seminal element of modern infectious disease. Biofilm must be in the forefront of our thinking when considering chronic infections such as chronic wounds (Wolcott et al., 2010c).

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