© 2009

The Role of Biofilms in Device-Related Infections

  • Mark Shirtliff
  • Jeff G. Leid
  • Provides the reader with the science and microbiology behind one of the burgeoning increases in infectious disease, indwelling medical device infections


Part of the Springer Series on Biofilms book series (BIOFILMS, volume 3)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. G. James, E. Swogger, E. deLancey-Pulcini
    Pages 1-14
  3. Rebecca A. Brady, Jason H. Calhoun, Jeff G. Leid, Mark E. Shirtliff
    Pages 15-55
  4. Mark S. Smeltzer, Carl L. Nelson, Richard P. Evans
    Pages 57-74
  5. J. G. Thomas, L. Corum, K. Miller
    Pages 75-107
  6. Debora Armellini, Mark A. Reynolds, Janette M. Harro, Liene Molly
    Pages 109-122
  7. G. A. O’May, S. M. Jacobsen, D. J. Stickler, H. L. T. Mobley, M. E. Shirtliff
    Pages 123-165
  8. Mark Pasmore, Karine Marion
    Pages 167-192
  9. M. E. Zegans, C. M. Toutain-Kidd, M. S. Gilmore
    Pages 193-217
  10. Laura Selan, Jennifer Kofonow, Gian Luca Scoarughi, Tim Vail, Jeff G. Leid, Marco Artini
    Pages 219-237
  11. M. Nymer, E. Cope, R. Brady, M. E. Shirtliff, J. G. Leid
    Pages 239-264
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 265-269

About this book


Approximately 60% of all hospital-associated infections, over one million cases per year, are due to biofilms that have formed on indwelling medical devices. Device-related biofilm infections increase hospital stays and add over one billion dollars/year to U.S. hospitalization costs. Since the use and the types of indwelling medical devices commonly used in modern healthcare are continuously expanding, especially with an aging population, the incidence of biofilm infections will also continue to rise. The central problem with microbial biofilm infections of foreign bodies is their propensity to resist clearance by the host immune system and all antimicrobial agents tested to date. In fact, compared to their free floating, planktonic counterparts, microbes within a biofilm are 50 – 500 times more resistant to antimicrobial agents. Therefore, achieving therapeutic and non-lethal dosing regimens within the human host is impossible. The end result is a conversion from an acute infection to one that is persistent, chronic, and recurrent, most often requiring device removal in order to eliminate the infection. This text will describe the major types of device-related infections, and will explain the host, pathogen, and the unique properties of their interactions in order to gain a better understanding of these recalcitrant infections.


antimicrobial bacteria biofilm biofilm infection implants infection infections medical devices microbiology

Editors and affiliations

  • Mark Shirtliff
    • 1
  • Jeff G. Leid
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Public Health
Internal Medicine & Dermatology