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Breaking Down Fungal Biofilm Defenses Provides Potential Path to Treating Sticky Infections

Photo: Wikipedia.

The microbes that make us sick often have ways to evade our attacks against them. Perhaps chief among these strategies is a sticky, armor-like goo, called the biofilm matrix, that encases clusters of disease-causing organisms.

This defense works, sometimes in tragic ways. For example, biofilms form readily and invisibly on medical devices like catheters and implants and are highly resistant to drugs that might otherwise treat them. The infections they cause cost tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars a year in the U.S.

“There are no approved antimicrobials to treat biofilms. The ...