Published online Mar 9, 2015. doi: 10.5497/wjp.v4.i1.31
Peer-review started: September 24, 2014
First decision: October 17, 2014
Revised: November 27, 2014
Accepted: December 16, 2014
Article in press: December 17, 2014
Published online: March 9, 2015
Core tip: Biofilm formation on host tissues and medically implanted devices is a major health problem, and the infections caused by bacteria in biofilms are hard to treat with antimicrobial agents. They are the cause of frequent and recurrent infections after the termination of antimicrobial treatments. The reasons for the recalcitrant nature of biofilms to antimicrobial treatment are varied and have been attributed to different factors, including impermeability of biofilms, slow rates of growth and metabolic activity, and the presence of small colonies and persisters. They have been the subject of many investigations that will be discussed in this minireview.