Fungal biofilms and polymicrobial diseases
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Biofilm formation is an important virulence factor for pathogenic fungi. Both yeasts and filamentous fungi can adhere to biotic and abiotic surfaces, developing into highly organized communities that are resistant to antimicrobials and environmental conditions. In recent years, new genera of fungi have been correlated with biofilm formation. However, Candida biofilms remain the most widely studied from the morphological and molecular perspectives. Biofilms formed by yeast and filamentous fungi present differences, and studies of polymicrobial communities have become increasingly important. A key feature of resistance is the extracellular matrix, which covers and protects biofilm cells from the surrounding environment. Furthermore, to achieve cell–cell communication, microorganisms secrete quorum-sensing molecules that control their biological activities and behaviors and play a role in fungal resistance and pathogenicity. Several in vitro techniques have been developed to study fungal biofilms, from colorimetric methods to omics approaches that aim to identify new therapeutic strategies by developing new compounds to combat these microbial communities as well as new diagnostic tools to identify these complex formations in vivo. In this review, recent advances related to pathogenic fungal biofilms are addressed.
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