I have been speaking (electronically) with my colleague Randy Wolcott– the very talented clinician and widely acknowledged biofilm guru from Lubbock. He was telling me of his experience at the American Society of Microbiology meeting in Mexico recently, where the discussion has continued to focus not on one bug, but on “biomes” of bugs.
The more we discuss this, the more we realize that the possibility of what we refer to (tongue in cheek) as an “H. pylori” for a wound may be a good analogy– but a simplistic one. I will quote good Dr. Wolcott:
“While, H. pylori possesses all the tools necessary to attach, form a biofilm and create a hyperinflammatory environment on which it can subsist, many bacteria choose to co-aggregate to have all the elements necessary for biofilm formation and the ability to produce a chronic infection.
“…most of the biofilm experts agree that the presence of numerous different species existing in the same host niche (wound) was sufficient to strongly suggest that a biofilm was present. This is based on the laboratory finding that it is very rare for planktonic bacteria to coexist in the same area while biofilms are almost polymicrobial.
I like your phrase [David] “misanthropic microbial communities” because it connotes bacteria abandoning their commensal roles and have turned to the dark side of harming humanity. “
This is really interesting stuff. I am so very fascinated where we’re going!