Institut für Funktionelle Grenzflächen (IFG)

Antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria and their resistance genes in bacterial biofilms

  • Autor:

    Obst, U. / Schwartz, T. / Volkmann, H. (2006)

  • Quelle:

    Int. J. Art. Org. 29 (2006), 387-394

  • Datum: 2006
  • Obst, U. / Schwartz, T. / Volkmann, H. (2006): „Antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria and their resistance genes in bacterial biofilms“. In: Int. J. Art. Org. 29 (2006), 387-394 


Biofilm-forming bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment and also include biofilm-forming pathogens. Environmental biofilms may form a reservoir for risk genes and may act as a challenge for human health. Examples of the health relevance of biofilms are the increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria hosted in biofilms in hospital and environment and consequently the interaction of these bacteria with human cells, e.g. in the immune system.

Although data concerning the occurrence and spread of resistant bacteria within hospital care units are available, the fate of these bacteria in the environment and especially in the aquatic environment has barely been investigated. Once antibiotic resistant bacteria have entered the environment, a back coupling by ingestion or other possible entry into the host has to be prevented. Therefore a strategy to investigate paths of entry, accumulation and spread of resistant bacteria in environmental compartments has been developed using quantitative determination of genetic resistance determinants.

Additionally a bacterial bioassay assessed bioeffectivity thresholds of low antibiotic concentrations. This approach enables an evaluation of the potential of contaminated waters to exert a selection pressure on bacterial communities and thus promote the persistence of resistant organisms. Completed with an indicator system for the identification of sources of multiresistant bacteria a concept for monitoring and evaluation of environmental compartments with respect to their potential of antibiotic resistance dissemination is suggested.