Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study By US, Hebrew University Scientists Sheds Light On How Bacteria Persist Despite Antibiotics

Date:
December 28, 2004
Source:
Hebrew University Of Jerusalem
Summary:
Persistence pays off – for bacteria as well as people. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Rockefeller University in New York have demonstrated the constant presence of antibiotic-tolerant "persistent cells" within bacteria colonies and have shown, through mathematical modeling, how these cells develop into "normal" cells following their survival of even heavy dosages of antibiotics.

Slow-growing bacteria cells that are resistant to antibiotic drugs are shown in the magnified illustration at left among the other “normal” bacterial cells, and again at right showing how they have survived after the other bacterial cells have been destroyed by antibiotics. (Illustration courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Persistence pays off – for bacteria as well as people. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Rockefeller University in New York have demonstrated the constant presence of antibiotic-tolerant "persistent cells" within bacteria colonies and have shown, through mathematical modeling, how these cells develop into "normal" cells following their survival of even heavy dosages of antibiotics.

Related Articles


The findings have consequences for development of new tactics for overcoming the common problem of resistance by bacteria to medicinal treatment.

It has been known for some time that when an antibiotic is administered to counteract a specific bacteria, not all of the bacterial cells may die. Persistent cells can remain that will reinfect the patient later -- the condition we commonly refer to as relapse. What was not known was the exact nature of these persistent cells nor how they function.

In their research with E-coli bacteria, the Hebrew University and Rockefeller University researchers discovered that persistent cells are a kind of reserve population that is constantly being produced within bacteria, regardless of whether the bacteria are being attacked by an antibiotic or not. These cells are slow-growing and – apparently because of their "retarded" or "non-mature" state – are not susceptible to antibiotics.

Translating their observations into a mathematical model, the researchers have shown how these persistent cells slowly but surely continue growing until they reach a "normal" growth stage. At that point, the former persistent cells are now themselves susceptible to antibiotic attack.

The work of the researchers – Prof. Nathalie Questembert-Balaban, head of the biophysics laboratories at the Hebrew University Racah Institute of Physics; Prof. Stanislas Leibler of Rockefeller University; and his students Jack Merrin, Remy Chait and Lukasz Kowalik – appeared in a recent issue of Science magazine.

Prof. Balaban observes that if the timing could be worked out so that the persistent cells could be "hit" with antibiotics at the point that they reach a normal growth stage, then perhaps the problem of relapse could be overcome. Alternatively, perhaps further study of the nature of the persistent cells could lead to drugs that would take direct action against them in their initial state.

The discoveries by the Hebrew and Rockefeller universities scientists could also perhaps point in the direction of overcoming the problem of reoccurrence of cancer in patients who have undergone earlier, successful remission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. "Study By US, Hebrew University Scientists Sheds Light On How Bacteria Persist Despite Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220032017.htm>.
Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. (2004, December 28). Study By US, Hebrew University Scientists Sheds Light On How Bacteria Persist Despite Antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220032017.htm
Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. "Study By US, Hebrew University Scientists Sheds Light On How Bacteria Persist Despite Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220032017.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins