Navigation Links
Swimming 'to the left' gets bacteria upstream, and may promote infection

Yale engineers who study both flow hydrodynamics and how bacteria propel themselves report that one reason for the high incidence of infections associated with catheters in hospital patients may be that some pathogenic bacteria swim "to the left," in a study published in Physical Review Letters.

"Escherichia coli (E. coli) and some other pathogenic bacteria with flagella interact with the flow of liquid when they are near a surface," said Hür Köser, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Yale and the study's senior author, who has collaborated with a diverse team of scientists for this study.

"Each cell normally has two to six flagella that can rotate together as a bundle and act as a propeller to drive the cell forward. Away from any boundaries, the cells swim in a straight line, but near a surface, opposing forces of flow and bacterial forward motion cause the bacteria to continuously swim to one side ?to the left." The study determined that swimming "to the left" is a hydrodynamic process that is fundamentally related to the way the cells propel themselves in this manner.

Köser and his colleagues show that this phenomenon allows flagellated bacteria, such as E. coli, to find crevices or imperfections on the surface, get trapped, and swim upstream. This allows the bacteria to eventually locate large reservoirs with richer sources of food and better conditions for multiplying.

"We think that upstream swimming of bacteria may be relevant to the transport of E. coli in the urinary tract," said Köser. "It might also explain the high rates of infection in catheterized patients and the incidence of microbial contamination at protected wellheads. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a natural propensity to swim upstream has been discovered and described in bacteri a."

To study the hydrodynamics of these bacteria in a flow environment, Köser's team constructed microfluidic devices using soft lithography. Inside the devices they set up various flow patterns to observe the bacteria in channels that were only 150 or 300 microns wide and between 50 and 450 microns deep. They were able to observe how the bacteria moved at a wide range of flow rates ?between 0.05 and 20 microliters per minute.


Source:Yale University

Related biology news :

1. Swimming with dolphins can alleviate depression
2. Anti-bacterial additive widespread in U.S. waterways
3. A bacterial genome reveals new targets to combat infectious disease
4. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
5. Scientists discover that host cell lipids facilitate bacterial movement
6. Family trees of ancient bacteria reveal evolutionary moves
7. Drug-resistant bacteria on poultry products differ by brand
8. Programmable cells: Engineer turns bacteria into living computers
9. NASA links nanobacteria to kidney stones and other diseases
10. Substance protects resilient staph bacteria
11. Physiological effects of reduced gravity on bacteria
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global leader ... has released a new version of its IdentityX ... North America have already installed IdentityX ... includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... to activate FIDO features. These customers include some of ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , ... with 2XU, a global leader in technical performance ... hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will ... monitor key biometrics to improve overall training performance. ... two companies will bring together the most advanced technology, ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds Biometrics ... to 2021 as well as Emerging ... research reports to its collection of ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is one ... biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic ... diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers market ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received ... of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research ... clinical trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANNAPOLIS, Md. , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, ... of Directors has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights ... its net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 ... --> --> PharmAthene,s use of its ... an "ownership change" as defined in Section 382 of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Studies reveal the differences in species ... the way for more effective treatment for one of the ... --> --> Gum disease ... cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated ... conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition ...
Breaking Biology Technology: