Biofilm is a compact coating formed on various artificial and physiologic surfaces by a population of microorganisms which in this habitat establish a close cooperation, exploiting both the physical interactions that stabilize the community and chemical cooperation, engaging numerous agents to modify the environment, i.e., to influence the acidity, nutrient acquisition, or oxygen availability. Microorganisms can also communicate using quorum-sensing molecules carrying specific messages. Some microbes temporarily dominate, while others are constantly replaced by different community members. But these co-operations or competitions have a deep sense—they serve to protect the whole community against the defense system of the host to assure survival. The oral cavity is inhabited by diverse microorganisms, including bacteria, but also yeast-like fungi from the genus Candida that stay under a tight control of the host as long as its immune system is not weakened; then these relatively mild commensals convert to dangerous pathogens that start the invasion often in collaboration with other microbes. Elongated hyphal forms of fungal cells favor the biofilm type of growth and communication with other microbes supporting immune resistance of the biofilm. In this chapter, we discuss the mechanisms of interactions between bacteria and C. albicans in the oral cavity, their communication, host responses, and possible strategies of anti-biofilm treatment.
Part of the book: Candida Albicans