The Microbiology Society issues topical briefing papers, which provide need-to-know information on various subjects such as hospital-acquired infections, climate change and pandemic influenza. These resources are prepared with the help of our members. To request hard copies of these resources please contact our Policy Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tuberculosis (TB) is a debilitating multi-organ disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The most important form of the disease is pulmonary TB, an infection of the lungs and respiratory tract. Other types of TB include TB meningitis and miliary TB, which are associated with high mortality in infants and young children.
Biofilms are communities of micro-organisms that stick to each other and to surfaces. They form in aqueous environments when free-floating micro-organisms attach and adhere to surfaces in response to cues in the environment such as changes in pH and nutrient concentration. The biofilm matures as attached micro-organisms multiply, colonising the surface and recruiting new members which are embedded in self-secreted extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), a sticky slime-like material consisting of DNA, polysaccharides, and proteins, forming a structured 3D matrix.