Several approaches are currently being employed to monitor biofilms, both single- and multi-species, in static or dynamic conditions, and to screen biofilm-formation potential by microorganisms and follow their structure, phenotypic and physiological characteristics with time. The final purpose is to provide end-users, namely health and water industries, with methods to track biofilm growth or monitor specific microorganisms embedded in biofilms, preferably on-line.
To discriminate between microorganisms present in a consortium, the technique of peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridization (PNA FISH) has warranted particular attention within our group. An example of application of PNA FISH includes the monitoring and quantification of H. pylori in a real DWDS. Other probes for S. epidermidis, E. sakazakii, Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes have already been developed.