Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis. India is one of the worst affected countries. According to the WHO statistics of 2013, there is a global incidence of 9 million cases, of which India has an estimated incidence figure of 2.0–2.3 million cases of TB. The increasing emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) is an emerging threat throughout the world. Several types of drug resistance mechanisms are found in mycobacterium, of which biofilms are one among them. (Splgelman et al., Expert Rev. Anti-infect. Ther (2004). 2 : 467-469) Drug tolerant biofilm formed by mycobacteria prevent the effective penetration of antibiotics and immune cells and protect the pathogen from its inhibitory effect. (Abidi et al., Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. Sci (2014) 3: 801-812). This has raised an urgency to identify and develop new antibiotics functioning through a novel mechanism of action.
All biofilms contain an extracellular matrix that holds the cells together. This matrix is composed of exo-polysaccharide in most of the bacteria, but in mycobacteria it is made up of mycolic acid (Ojha et al., Cell. (2005); 123: 861-873). Formation of biofilm occurred in different steps: microbial surface attachment, cell proliferation, maturation, matrix synthesis, detachment for developing new one. (O’Toole et al., Annu. Rev. Microbiol. (2000). 54: 49–79)