Antimicrobial researchers at The University of Queensland are focusing their attention on one of the biggest sources of antibiotic resistance in the world.
Professor Jason Roberts said biofilms – communities of bacteria which form protective mechanisms to stop antibiotics working properly – were a major problem that affected many vulnerable patient groups.
“Biofilms are very common and it can take a long course of antibiotics to get rid of them,” Professor Roberts said.
“Unfortunately, long courses often lead to antibiotic resistance, which can cause patients to die.
“Cystic fibrosis patients for instance are very hard to treat because of these difficult-to-eliminate biofilms that form in their lungs.
“Patients in intensive care units can have biofilms form on the tubes that are in their lungs, on IV lines or on urinary catheters.”