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New discovery may help treat chronic infections

Scientists from Binghamton University and State University of New York have discovered key regulators required for the formation of biofilms - communities of bacteria in self-produced slime - which could lead to new ways for treating chronic infections.

These biofilms may be found almost anywhere that solids and liquids meet, whether in nature, in hospitals or in industrial settings.

It has been implicated in chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases such as ear infections, gastrointestinal ulcers, urinary tract infections and pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients.

Biofilms are difficult to eradicate with conventional antimicrobial treatments since they can be nearly 1,500-fold more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic, free-floating cells.

In the new study, lead researcher Karin Sauer, associate professor of biology at Binghamton University, and graduate student Olga Petrova focussed their study on Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria and found key regulatory events required for the formation and development of biofilms.

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