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Bacteria can be found in 2 different states: planktonic and biofilms.
Bacteria found in a planktonic state are free-floating bacteria – commonly found on growth plates and test tubes in a microbiology laboratory. Planktonic bacteria are more susceptible to antibiotics and eradications by the immune system.
Biofilms, on the other hand, are an organized community of bacteria attached to an inert or living surface. Biofilms develop from planktonic bacteria that form over time, held together by a mucous-like extracellular matrix. This matrix acts as protection from the immune system and antibiotics may not be able to penetrate the multiple surface layers of the biofilm, resulting in antibiotic resistance.
The BecScreen assay helps determine which antibiotic(s) and what dosage of antibiotic(s) are best used to treat the infection.
MIC vs Biofilm susceptibility tests
Biofilm associated infections are typically chronic and recurrent. These types of infections are generally associated with treatment failure because of the biofilm’s higher level of drug resistance.
BecScreen is an in-vitro antibiotic susceptibility test used to determine to which specific antibiotics a bacterium is sensitive. This test helps in determining which antibiotic(s) and what dosage of antibiotic(s) are best used to treat an infection.
Susceptibility testing commonly reports these results as MIC and MBEC. MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) is the lowest concentration (in μg/mL) of an antibiotic that inhibits the visible growth of a given strain of bacteria. MIC results will test the susceptibility of planktonic (free-floating) bacteria but is not an effective assay result when testing antibiotics against biofilms. MBEC (minimum biofilm eradication concentration) is the lowest concentration (in μg/mL) of an antibiotic that is able to penetrate and break down the biofilm, eliminating the infection.
About the BecScreen Assay
Our BecScreen assay cultures bacteria as a biofilm and tests the antibiotic susceptibility of that biofilm in the lab. The assay consists of a 2-part system, a microtiter lid with 96 specialized pegs and a microtiter plate with inoculated growth medium. This system allows planktonic (free-floating) bacteria to adhere to these 96 pegs when placed in the microtiter plate containing the growth medium, resulting in biofilm formation.
Once biofilms have formed on the 96 pegs, the 96 biofilms are then challenged against various antibiotics, or combination antibiotics, to determine a precise antibiotic treatment and dosage.