Candida biofilm-related infections
Del Pozo JL (1), Cantón E (2).
The number of biomedical devices (intravascular catheters, heart valves, joint replacements, etc.) that are implanted in our hospitals has increased exponentially in recent years. Candida species are pathogens which are becoming more significant in these kinds of infections. Candida has two forms of development: planktonic and in biofilms.
A biofilm is a community of microorganisms which adhere to a surface and are enclosed by an extracellular matrix. This form of development confers a high resistance to the antimicrobial agents.
This is the reason why antibiotic treatments usually fail and biomedical devices may have to be removed in most cases. Unspecific adhesion mechanisms, the adhesion-receptor systems, and an intercellular communication system called quorum sensing play an essential role in the development of Candida biofilms.
In general, the azoles have poor activity against Candida biofilms, while echinocandins and polyenes show a greater activity. New therapeutic strategies need to be developed due to the high morbidity and mortality and high economic costs associated with these infections. Most studies to date have focused on bacterial biofilms.
The knowledge of the formation of Candida biofilms and their composition is essential to develop new preventive and therapeutic strategies.