Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Immunology
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Clues to How Bacteria Evade Antibiotics

Published: Friday, January 10, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, January 10, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Scientists have made an important advance in understanding how a subset of bacterial cells escape being killed by many antibiotics.

Cells become "persisters" by entering a state in which they stop replicating and are able to tolerate antibiotics. Unlike antibiotic resistance, which arises because of genetic mutations and is passed on to later generations, this tolerant phase is only temporary, but it may contribute to the later development of resistance.

In a new study in the journal Science, researchers from the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection at Imperial College London have succeeded in visualising persister cells in infected tissues for the first time, and have identified signals that lead to their formation.

Virtually all bacterial species form subpopulations of persisters that are tolerant to many antibiotics. Persisters are likely to be a cause of many recurrent infections, but little is known about how they arise.

The team developed a method for tracking single cells using a fluorescent protein produced by the bacteria. They showed that Salmonella, which causes gastroenteritis and typhoid fever, forms large numbers of non-replicating persisters after being engulfed by immune cells called macrophages. By adopting this non-replicating mode, Salmonella survives antibiotic treatment and lingers in the host, accounting for its ability to cause recurrent infections.

The researchers also identified factors produced by human cells that trigger bacteria to become persisters.

One of the lead authors, Dr Sophie Helaine, said: "We rely on antibiotics to defend us against common bacterial infections like tuberculosis, cystitis, tonsillitis and typhoid, but a few cells can escape treatment by becoming persisters, which allows the infection to come back. This is a big problem in itself, but it also makes it more likely that antibiotic resistance will arise and spread.

"Now we know the molecular pathways and mechanisms that lead to persister formation during infection, we can work on screening for new drugs to coax them out of this state so that they become vulnerable to antibiotics." 

The other lead author, Professor David Holden, Director of the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection at Imperial College London, said: "One of the most striking findings in this work is that conditions inside immune cells activate two different responses from Salmonella, causing some bacteria to replicate and others to enter a non-replicating persister state. Activating these two responses together is likely to be an important mechanism by which Salmonella survives during infection." 

The research was supported by an Imperial College London Junior Research Fellowship, the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Breast Milk Sugar Protect Newborns Against Meningitis
Research suggests breat milk sugar can protect against Group B streptococcus, a leading cause of meningitis.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
Breast Milk Sugar May Protect Babies Against Deadly Infection
Researchers from Imperial College London find that a sugar found in some women’s breast milk may protect babies against Group B streptococcus.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Flu Vaccine May Reduce Death Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
New research suggests that a new flu vaccine may reduce probability of type 2 diabetes patients being hospitalised with stroke and heart failure.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Zika Epidemic Likely to End Within Three Years
A team of scientists has predicted that the current Zika epidemic is likely to end within three years because there will be too few people left to infect.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Dengue Virus Exposure May Amplify Zika Infection
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of Zika infection.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Flu Virus Hijacking Tactics Revealed
Scientists at Imperial College London have discovered how flu viruses 'hijack' cell machinery when they infect the body.
Thursday, January 07, 2016
Health Risks of Saturated Fats Aggravated by Immune Response
Research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
Friday, September 04, 2015
Protein That Boosts Immunity to Viruses and Cancer Discovered
Researchers now developing a gene therapy designed to boost the infection-fighting cells.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Protein That Boosts Immunity To Viruses And Cancer Discovered
Scientists have discovered a protein that plays a central role in promoting immunity to viruses and cancer, opening the door to new therapies.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Adults Only Really Catch Flu About Twice a Decade, Suggests Study
Researchers developed a mathematical model of how our immunity to flu changes over a lifetime as we encounter different strains of the virus.
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Scientists Uncover New Role for Neurotransmitter that Helps Fight Infection
Scientists have shed new light on the complexities of the immune system that could help develop vaccines to boost natural defences against disease.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Epigenetic Study Highlights Drug Targets for Allergies and Asthma
Scientists have discovered over 30 new genes that predispose people to allergies and asthma, some of which could be targets for new drugs.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
New Class of Antibodies Raises Hope of Dengue Fever Vaccine
Scientists have discovered a new class of human antibodies against the dengue fever virus, which could be exploited to develop a vaccine.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Monitoring Effectiveness Of Hay Fever Immunotherapy
A new test for measuring histamine release from certain white blood cells could help doctors monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy for hay fever.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Study Finds Potential New Target to Treat Asthma Attacks Brought on by Colds
Results suggest that IL-25 could be a target for possible treatments to prevent asthma attacks.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Faecal Bacteria Linked to Body Fat
Researchers at King’s College London have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo – known as the human faecal microbiome - and levels of abdominal body fat.
‘Cellbots’ Chase Down Cancer, Deliver Drugs Directly to Tumors
Programmable T cells shown to be versatile, precise, and powerful in lab studies.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Could Strengthen Airway Immunity
Mold toxins can weaken the airways' clearing mechanisms and immunity, but PKC inhibitors showed promise as a treatment.
Antibodies Paving the Way to HIV Vaccine
Researchers uncover factors responsible for the formation of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies in humans.
Vaccine Against Common Cold Achievable
Researchers suggest that a vaccine against rhinoviruses is possible using variant virus vaccines.
Treating Sepsis with Marine Mitochondria
Mitochondrial alternative oxidase from a marine animal combats bacterial sepsis.
Iron Nanoparticles Make Immune Cells Attack Cancer
Researchers accidentally discover that nanoparticles invented for anemia treatment can trigger the immune system’s ability to destroy tumor cells.
Uncovering Cancer’s ‘Invisibility Cloak’
Researchers discover cancer cell mechanism to become invisible to the body's immune system.
Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika
A study of the Culex species mosquito appears to show that the species does not transmit Zika virus.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!