Except for growth as colonies on agar-solidified media, bacterial cultures grown in a laboratory are smooth suspensions of individual cells dispersed in a liquid medium . In nature, whether in soil, in marine or riparian environments, or on the surface of physical agents, including medical prosthetic devices, bacteria grow as aggre-gated assemblies of cells. These biofilms frequently develop a multicellular arrangement that excludes antimicrobics and other toxic molecules and enhances the ability of the bacteria to capture nutrients. The full extent to which this phenomenon is related to infec-tious disease remains to be determined, but it is clear that adherence to cell and tissue sur-faces is an attribute of most pathogens.
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