Authors: Azeredo J, García P. (IPLA-CSIC) and Drulis-Kawa Z.
Article published on: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
The complex biofilm architecture composed of extracellular polymeric structures (EPS) provides a protective shield to physiologically diverse bacterial cells immersed in its structure. The evolutionary interplay between bacteria and their viruses (phages) forced the latter ones to develop specific strategies to overcome the biofilm defensive barriers and kill sessile cells. Phages are equipped with a wide panel of enzyme-degrading EPS macromolecules which together are powerful weapons to combat biofilms. Antibiofilm performance can be achieved by combining phages or phage-borne enzymes with other antimicrobials such as antibiotics. Nevertheless, a variety of enzymes encoded in phage genomes still need to be explored. To advance in biofilm control strategies we must deepen the understanding of the biofilm biology itself, as well as discover and better exploit the unlimited antibacterial potential of phages.