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A closer look at the challenge of biofilms

Biofilms are aggregates of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) embedded in a slime-like matrix, which protect the bacteria from the immune system and the effects of antimicrobials (e.g. antibiotics). *3,4 Biofilms have been observed in various conditions, such as chronic wounds, cystic fibrosis and eczema. *7,8 Conventional antibiotics for managing these infections are not effective in eradicating biofilms without adverse effects on the host and the environment. The inappropriate use of antibiotics, and their inability to eradicate biofilms, further contributes to the development of antimicrobial resistance, and places patients at high risk for acquiring or spreading multi-drug resistant microorganisms.

There is growing evidence idicating the presence of biofilms in non-healing, chronic wounds and their adverse role in delaying normal wound healing. *5,6 Current approaches for managing infections in wounds, such as antibiotics or antiseptics, are not effective in eradicating biofilm infections. To be truly effective, antimicrobial agents must be able to penetrate and kill microbes embedded in the biofilms of wounds without impeding the wound healing process of the host.

Thomas Bjarnsholt, DMSc. and Professor at Copenhagen University and University Hospital, and his partner MD Klaus Kirketerp-Møller, Chief Surgeon at Bispebjerg University Hospital and Copenhagen University, have tested our antimicrobial agent and stated the following:

“We have tested a large variety of topical antiseptics for the eradication and removal of biofilm in our in-vitro wound models. SoftOx has shown outstanding results; both directly on the surface of the biofilm, and beneath the simulated wound surface where the type of biofilm is found, which is the most difficult to eradicate.”

“Biofilms represent a major problem for wound healing as they protect, spread and facilitate the creation of new antibiotic-resistant superbugs.” 

Thomas Bjarnsholt, DMSc. and Professor at Copenhagen University and University Hospital

Primary issues of the

Biofilm challenge

Microbes (i.e. bacteria, fungi) become up to a thousand times more tolerant in biofilms.

Microbes can share and modify their resistance genes and become superbugs.

Abnormal wound healing is in part caused by the inefficient eradication of infecting, opportunistic pathogens – and the wound often becomes chronic.

Bacterial biofilms prevent antibiotics, antiseptics and the immune system from performing properly.