Complete Survival when lethal Bacteria are fed rather than killed (Proof of Concept )

Complete Survival when lethal Bacteria are fed rather than killed (Proof of Concept )

Complete Survival when lethal Bacteria are fed rather than killed (Proof of Concept )

Researchers report that giving mice dietary iron supplements enabled them to survive a normally lethal bacterial infection and resulted in later generations of those bacteria being less virulent. The approach demonstrates in preclinical studies that non-antibiotic-based strategies — such as nutritional interventions — can shift the relationship between the patient and pathogens away from antagonism and toward cooperation.

Karina K. Sanchez, Grischa Y. Chen, Alexandria M. Palaferri Schieber, Samuel E. Redford, Maxim N. Shokhirev, Mathias Leblanc, Yujung M. Lee, Janelle S. Ayres. Cooperative Metabolic Adaptations in the Host Can Favor Asymptomatic Infection and Select for Attenuated Virulence in an Enteric Pathogen. Cell, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.07.016

From friend to foe: How benign bacteria evolve to virulent pathogens

Contact: Isabel Gordo igordo@igc.gulbenkian.pt 351-214-407-915 Public Library of Science

Bacteria can evolve rapidly to adapt to environmental change. When the “environment” is the immune response of an infected host, this evolution can turn harmless bacteria into life-threatening pathogens. A study published on December 12 in PLOS Pathogens provides insight into how this happens.

Isabel Gordo and colleagues from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Oeira, Portugal, have for the first time devised an experimental system to observe and study the evolution of bacteria in response to encounters with cells of the mammalian immune system. They found that in less than 500 bacterial generations (or 30 days), the bacteria became more resistant to being killed by immune cells and acquired the ability to cause disease in mice. Continue reading “From friend to foe: How benign bacteria evolve to virulent pathogens”