This segment will cover part one of the discussion on biofilms. There will be part 2 as well because biofilms is a topic that is very lengthy. In the past few years, the issue of biofilms has been an interesting find in the field of medicine. Biofilms can present problems in the hospital setting as being a source of chronic infections. However this problem with biofilms is not new to the world of engineering. Specifically in water treatment facilities, biofilms has been identified as a source for water contamination. Now we see the medical field also recognizing biofilms as an issue.
We need to start with a definition of biofilm. Bacteria and yeast commonly live in a state of biofilm by secreting this filmy substance that surrounds them. The biofilm acts as a defense mechanism against other forms of pathogens and it aids in cellular communication for these pathogens as well. We understand the issue of biofilms in skin conditions with burn victims and patients with ulcerations commonly facing problems with biofilms. Yeast and bacteria can settle in burned and ulcerated skin and produce biofilm. We see the same concept happening in the digestive tract. The yeast and bacteria that is commonly found there can produce this mucous layer of biofilm which helps the pathogens survive for long periods of time and make it very hard to get rid of them. In a hospital setting, biofilms can contribute to chronic infection by attaching themselves to plastic and metal instruments like catheters and other medical utensils. Biofilms is definitely an area that has been identified as needing further research.
We see the impact of biofilms in children with Autism in relation to the digestive problems that many children have with chronic yeast and bacterial infections. Biofilms can be part of the reason why these pathogens seem so hard to get rid of. The problem is that often times the biofilm is not addressed which means the yeast and bacteria can still survive. So there is a brief discussion on biofilms. There are treatment protocols out there to address biofilms and can help with reoccurring yeast and bacteria problems in children with Autism.