Natural Products May Present an Optimum Control Strategy to Quorum-Sensing Mediated Membrane Biofouling
Quorum-sensing (QS) constitutes a bacterial cell-to-cell communication system based on production and secretion of signalling molecules called autoinducers (AIs), which accumulate in the extracellular environment when high cell densities are reached. Despite its numerous applications, QS plays a pivotal role in bacterial biofilm formation, leading to membrane biofouling, which is a major challenge in membrane-related water treatment systems. Interruption of QS (quorum-quenching (QQ)) using natural products may present a break-through in the fight against membrane biofouling. These natural products can form a better alternative to antibiotics which are characterized with resistance. In QQ, killing of the fouling organisms or limiting their growth is not the target but denying them of their ability to ‘communicate’ and form biofilms. In this review, bacterial quorum system and inhibitory effects of some natural products on QS-mediated traits such as biofilm formation have been explored in order to identify a better alternative of combating biofouling.
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