Research Topic Polymicrobial Oral Biofilms – Microbes are social creatures living in biofilms of microbial communities, which are embedded in a self-produced sugar-rich matrix. Cells within biofilms are more resistant to the host immune system and anti-infective therapeutics, posing significant challenges to the treatment of biofilm diseases such as periodontitis and dental caries. We develop oral model biofilms of incrementally increasing complexity and analyze these at the host cells’ interface. We want to understand how microbes communicate and interact with the host, involving secondary metabolites and quorum sensing. We are establishing methods for biofilm analytics, imaging, and biofilm infection studies to learn about the etiology of the worldwide most prevalent infectious diseases of bacterial origin – periodontitis and dental caries.




Confocal laser scanning micrograph showing a seven-species oral biofilm. © Susanne Bloch, Schäffer Research Group, BOKU Vienna