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Bacterial plurality as a general mechanism driving persistence in chronic infections

Bacterial plurality as a general mechanism driving persistence in chronic infections
Bacterial plurality as a general mechanism driving persistence in chronic infections
Classical methods for the study of bacterial pathogens have proven to be inadequate to inform with respect to chronic infections including those associated with arthroplasties. Modern methods of analysis have demonstrated that bacterial growth patterns, ecology, and intra-species heterogeneity are more complex than were envisioned by early microbiologists. Cultural methods were developed to study acute, epidemic infections, but it is now recognized that the phenotype associated with these diseases represents only a minor aspect of the bacterial life cycle, which consists of planktonic, attachment, biofilm, and dispersal phases. Over 99% of bacteria in natural populations are found in biofilms which contain multiple ecological niches and numerous phenotypes. Unfortunately, the effort to develop antibiotics has been directed solely at the planktonic minority (associated with systemic illness) which explains our inability to eradicate chronic infections. In this study we establish a new rubric, bacterial plurality, for the understanding of bacterial ecology and evolution with respect to chronic infection. The fundamental tenets of bacterial plurality are that the bacteria within an infecting population display multiple phenotypes and possess multiple genotypes. Phenotypic plurality is embodied in the biofilm paradigm and genotypic plurality is embodied in the concepts of the supra-genome and the distributed genome hypothesis. It is now clear that bacterial diversity provides bacterial populations, as a whole, the ability to persist in the face of a multi-faceted host response.
0009-921X
20-24
Ehrlich, Garth D.
aa8e5162-77a6-4627-a793-acd724ed0782
Hu, Fen Ze
a6e5ffb6-a70d-4a7a-97bc-34b34d5bb0cc
Shen, Kai
f488fb3d-5cb0-4935-ac97-e5c8d6962b5b
Stoodley, Paul
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f
Post, J. Christopher
832cfa58-9254-4396-8c8f-6fb18cc6c18c
Ehrlich, Garth D.
aa8e5162-77a6-4627-a793-acd724ed0782
Hu, Fen Ze
a6e5ffb6-a70d-4a7a-97bc-34b34d5bb0cc
Shen, Kai
f488fb3d-5cb0-4935-ac97-e5c8d6962b5b
Stoodley, Paul
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f
Post, J. Christopher
832cfa58-9254-4396-8c8f-6fb18cc6c18c

Ehrlich, Garth D., Hu, Fen Ze, Shen, Kai, Stoodley, Paul and Post, J. Christopher (2005) Bacterial plurality as a general mechanism driving persistence in chronic infections. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, (437), 20-24.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Classical methods for the study of bacterial pathogens have proven to be inadequate to inform with respect to chronic infections including those associated with arthroplasties. Modern methods of analysis have demonstrated that bacterial growth patterns, ecology, and intra-species heterogeneity are more complex than were envisioned by early microbiologists. Cultural methods were developed to study acute, epidemic infections, but it is now recognized that the phenotype associated with these diseases represents only a minor aspect of the bacterial life cycle, which consists of planktonic, attachment, biofilm, and dispersal phases. Over 99% of bacteria in natural populations are found in biofilms which contain multiple ecological niches and numerous phenotypes. Unfortunately, the effort to develop antibiotics has been directed solely at the planktonic minority (associated with systemic illness) which explains our inability to eradicate chronic infections. In this study we establish a new rubric, bacterial plurality, for the understanding of bacterial ecology and evolution with respect to chronic infection. The fundamental tenets of bacterial plurality are that the bacteria within an infecting population display multiple phenotypes and possess multiple genotypes. Phenotypic plurality is embodied in the biofilm paradigm and genotypic plurality is embodied in the concepts of the supra-genome and the distributed genome hypothesis. It is now clear that bacterial diversity provides bacterial populations, as a whole, the ability to persist in the face of a multi-faceted host response.

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More information

Published date: August 2005
Organisations: Engineering Mats & Surface Engineerg Gp

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 155965
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/155965
ISSN: 0009-921X
PURE UUID: 840196fd-327d-4b6a-82f4-8789a5dd19c8
ORCID for Paul Stoodley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6069-273X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Jun 2010 14:08
Last modified: 17 Jul 2019 00:45

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