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Big Impact of the Tiny: Bacteriophage–Bacteria Interactions in Biofilms
- Hansen, Mads Frederik, Svenningsen, Sine Lo, Røder, Henriette Lyng, Middelboe, Mathias, Burmølle, Mette
- Trends in microbiology 2019 v.27 no.9 pp. 739-752
- antibiotics, bacteria, bacteriophages, biofilm, chronic diseases, extracellular matrix, phage therapy
- Bacteriophages (phages) have been shaping bacterial ecology and evolution for millions of years, for example, by selecting for defence strategies. Evidence supports that bacterial biofilm formation is one such strategy and that biofilm-mediated protection against phage infection depends on maturation and composition of the extracellular matrix. Interestingly, studies have revealed that phages can induce and strengthen biofilms. Here we review interactions between bacteria and phages in biofilms, discuss the underlying mechanisms, the potential of phage therapy for biofilm control, and emphasize the importance of considering biofilms in future phage research. This is especially relevant as biofilms are associated with increased tolerance towards antibiotics and are implicated in the majority of chronic infections.