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UCL Biofilms
The UCL Biofilm Centre is a virtual centre aiming to bring together a cadre of experts from different disciplines and from industry that will develop research strategies and co-ordinate research, development, training, educational and commercialisation activities. Biofilm-associated infectious disease has been a neglected area of clinical research in the UK. Increasing evidence suggests that many life-threatening infections arise through the development of biofilms, either directly in the human host or indirectly via surgical prostheses or catheters. Clinical themes: It has been known for many years that microbial biofilms are responsible for a wide range of infections but recent research has established that their involvement in disease processes is far wider than originally thought. Main categories of biofilm-associated disease (BAD) are listed below: Medical device-associated infections – due to advances in medical technology and an ageing population, these are an increasing problem and a considerable cost to the NHS. Oral diseases – the most prevalent infectious diseases of humans are caries, gingivitis and periodontitis and these are all caused by biofilms on the tooth surface. Genito-urinary infections – vaginitis has long been recognised as being due to biofilms on the vaginal mucosa but recently it has been shown that recurrent urinary tract infections are caused by biofilms within the bladder mucosa. Respiratory infections – the role of biofilms in lung infections in cystic fibrosis and ventilation –associated pneumonia is well known, but there is increasing evidence that upper respiratory tract infections such as otitis media are also caused by biofilms
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