Quorum-sensing inhibitors and biofilms

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Bacteria rely on chemical communication or quorum sensing to coordinate activities necessary for their survival in colonies. Among the numerous processes mediated by this intercellular communication is the formation of biofilms. The prevalence of biofilms in many different environments can be problematic. Their association to infectious diseases and their inherent ability increase antibiotic resistance in bacteria has led to a groundswell of research focused on new methods to control them. Their dependence on quorum sensing has made those signaling systems within bacteria an attractive target for the design of new therapeutic agents. Compounds that can disrupt this process are termed quorumsensing inhibitors (QSIs). By disrupting the biofilms, thereby making the bacteria more susceptible to traditional antibiotics, these QSIs may provide the newest weapon in the therapeutic arsenal against infections involving drug-resistant bacteria. These QSIs can come from a variety of sources and have a wide array of structures. This review will cover the scope of QSIs that have been reported in the literature, in particular those that have been shown, or may have potential, to inhibit biofilm formation and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-326
Number of pages12
JournalAnti-Infective Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases


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