Navigation Links
'Lonely' bacteria increase risk of antibiotic resistance

Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that 'lonely' microbes are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance.

The study, published today in Nature Communications and jointly funded by The Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, explored the mutation rates of E. coli.

Researchers found out that the rate of mutation varied according to how many of the bacteria there were. Surprisingly, they discovered that more bacteria gave fewer mutations.

Meanwhile more 'lonely' bacteria developed greater resistance to the well-known antibiotic Rifampicin, used to treat tuberculosis.

Dr Chris Knight joint lead author on the study with Dr. Rok Kraovec from The University of Manchester, said: "What we were looking for was a connection between the environment and the ability of bacteria to develop the resistance to antibiotics. We discovered that the rate at which E. coli mutates depends upon how many 'friends' it has around. It seems that more lonely organisms are more likely to mutate."

This change of the mutation rate is controlled by a form of social communication known as quorum sensing this is the way bacteria communicate to let each other know how much of a crowd there is. This involves the release of signalling molecules by bacteria when in a dense population to help the organisms understand their surrounding environment and coordinate behaviour to improve their defence mechanisms and adapt to the availability of nutrients.

Dr. Kraovec said: "We were able to change their mutation rates by changing who they shared a test tube with, which could mean that bacteria manipulate each other's mutation rates. It also suggests that mutation rates could be affected when bacteria are put at low densities for instance by a person taking antibiotics."

The rate of mutation was found to be dependent on the gene luxS which is known to be involved in quorum sensing in a wide range of bacteria.

The team now hopes to find ways to control this signalling for medical applications in a future study funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

"Eventually this might lead to interventions to control mutation rates, for instance to minimise the evolution of antibiotic resistance, allowing antibiotics to work better," said Dr Knight.

Dr Mike Turner, Head of Infection and Immunobiology at the Wellcome Trust said: "Antibiotic resistance is a real threat to disease control and public health today. Any insight into the origins of such resistance is valuable in the fight to prevent it. Chris Knight and his team have gained a fundamental understanding of bacterial communication and the development of mutations which in the long run could contribute to more potent antibiotics and better control of bacterial disease".

Contact: Meera Senthilingam
Wellcome Trust

Related biology news :

1. Plants send out signals attracting harmful bacteria, MU study finds
2. How a plant beckons the bacteria that will do it harm
3. Theoretical biophysics: Adventurous bacteria
4. Gate for bacterial toxins found
5. Antimicrobial from soaps promotes bacteria buildup in human noses
6. Bacterial gut biome may guide colon cancer progression
7. Immune cell defenders could beat invading bacteria
8. Engineered bacteria produce biofuel alternative for high-energy rocket fuel
9. Among US children, more infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria
10. Gut bacteria can cause life-threatening infections in preterm babies
11. Bacterial reporters that get the scoop
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... , June 1, 2016 ... in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global ... a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics ... Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the ... billion by 2021, on account of growing security concerns ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as ... Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video ... trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with ... tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding ... CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer ... data will then be employed to support the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP ... individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test ... of HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... therapies targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: