News from DCEXS-UPF
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (DCEXS-UPF) shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics. The study, which was conducted by the researchers Letícia Galera-Laporta and Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo and is published in the journal Science Advances, may affect the treatment of bacterial infections, even suggesting new strategies to combat these pathogens.
Since the discovery of penicillin almost 90 years ago, antibiotics have saved millions of lives. The required concentration of each antibiotic to eliminate a wide variety of species of bacteria is currently known in detail. These analyses are usually performed in cultures where each species of bacteria lives alone. However, infections are often comprised of more than one species of bacteria, with many species being present at the same time that can interact, sharing all types of chemical signals. In addition, our body contains a large number of beneficial bacteria (microbiota), with which pathogens can also coexist. Therefore, in this study, the researchers examined how communities of multiple species of bacteria respond jointly to antibiotics.
L. Galera-Laporta i J. Garcia-Ojalvo, “Antithetic population response to antibiotics in a polybacterial community”. Science Advances, March 2020. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz5108