Celebrating Biofilm Week
BluTest Laboratories — A Tentamus Company, as part of the Tentamus Group, is proud to support #BiofilmWeek alongside World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.
Each year, Biofilm Week aims to highlight the impacts that biofilms have on the world around us, whether in healthcare settings, industry, or in our own bodies. Biofilms are like microscopic cities, where microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, and fungi band together to form a resilient structure. Unlike free-floating planktonic organisms—the target of many traditional antimicrobial assays—biofilms exhibit enhanced resistance to antimicrobial agents, making them up to 1,000 times more resistant to traditional treatments. This heightened resilience stems from the protective matrix they produce, limiting the penetration of antibiotics and shielding the microorganisms within.
Probably the most famous examples of biofilms are those found on your teeth—dental plaque—and anyone with a mouth will understand how much effort is required to eliminate and control the formation of these on the surfaces of your teeth and around your gums. Without constant and continued attack on these biofilms, you can put yourself at an increased risk of gingivitis, dental caries, and other infections.
What most people don’t realise is that biofilms exist almost everywhere that microorganisms are found, adhering to surfaces such as medical devices, tissues, or industrial equipment. Many chronic infections, such as those associated with medical implants or wound infections, are often linked to biofilm formation. Industrial biofilms found in water systems and oil and gas pipelines can cause serious risks to health, including blockages and corrosion, and can ultimately be very costly to remedy.
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most pressing issues facing societies around the globe, with many infections now requiring multiple different types of antibiotics or drugs of last resort to treat. This is why it is so important to ensure good antibiotic practices to prolong the life of existing technologies and invest in the future of new and novel antimicrobials.
Since 2013, BluTest Laboratories has expanded its services to include biofilm assays alongside our standardised biocide testing. We create biofilms in the laboratory that are disease or industry-specific to ensure that your product can be tested in the most robust systems, offering insight into how these products may work when faced against a biofilm in the real world — something that classic microbiology testing doesn’t offer!