Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could bacterial predator be harnessed to mop up biofilms?

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Some new research on a bacterial predator that feeds on other bacteria may lead to new ammunition against biofilms.

Some new research on a bacterial predator that feeds on other bacteria may lead to new ammunition against biofilms. The research is published in the June 2011 issue of the Journal of Bacteriology.

Bacterial pathogens frequently form biofilms, which adhere to surfaces, and which are far more resistant to antibiotics than are individual bacteria. Biofilms are the culprits in a wide variety of infections, which range from minor problems to major chronic problems, to the lethal.

The predatory bacteria, members of the genus Bdellovibrio, eat their prey, larger, oft-pathogenic bacteria, from the inside. They have other amazing attributes, including their incredible speed, 100 body lengths per second, propelled by a single sheathed flagellum, which leads their student, Liz Sockett of the University of Nottingham, UK, to characterize them as the Bugatti Veyron (top speed 250 mpg) of the microbial world. But in the new research, Sockett's colleagues Carey Lambert and Andy Fenton show that Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus can switch "engines" -- who knew it had two? -- and crawl along at a snail-like 20 body lengths per hour. That laid back locomotion "lets the Bdellovibrio exit from a bacterial prey cell which it has finished digesting, and crawl across a solid surface to find other bacterial prey to invade," says Sockett.

It is important to understand and preserve this laid back form of locomotion "if Bdellovibrio are to be used in the future to kill pathogenic bacteria on solid surfaces, like medical biofilms, where there may be too little liquid for swimming," says Sockett. Others, she says, have identified the similarly slow engines in the Bdellovibrio relatives, the Myxobacteria, and comparing the two engines may illuminate the mechanics in ways that could lead to medical applications, she says.

As for those medical applications, suffice it to say that biofilms play a role in urinary tract infections, and middle ear infections; they form on catheters, on teeth and in gums (dental plaque, and gingivitis, respectively), and they are common in lethal infections such as cystic fibrosis and endocarditis. "The hope is that one day Bdellovibrio in slow gear will mop them up."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Lambert, A. K. Fenton, L. Hobley, R. E. Sockett. Predatory Bdellovibrio Bacteria Use Gliding Motility To Scout for Prey on Surfaces. Journal of Bacteriology, 2011; 193 (12): 3139 DOI: 10.1128/JB.00224-11

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Could bacterial predator be harnessed to mop up biofilms?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617184857.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2011, June 20). Could bacterial predator be harnessed to mop up biofilms?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617184857.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Could bacterial predator be harnessed to mop up biofilms?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617184857.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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