Dr. Dao Nguyen investigated the behavior of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common bacteria in patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Her research identified that when bacteria are starved, they develop a starvation-signaling stringent response, which allows them to better adapt and survive. This research showed that inactivating this protective mechanism can sensitize biofilms to various antibiotics, thus providing new insights on the mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance.
View the full publication here: Active starvation responses mediate antibiotic tolerance in biofilms and nutrient-limited bacteria. Nguyen D, Joshi-Datar A, Lepine F, Bauerle E, Olakanmi O, Beer K, McKay G, Siehnel R, Schafhauser J, Wang Y, Britigan BE, Singh PK. Science. 2011 Nov 18;334(6058):982-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1211037. PMID: 22096200
View articles and interviews about this research:
- New Clues for Improving Antibiotics for Tolerant Bacteria. Some of the ways bacteria protect themselves from antibiotics might be used against them to strengthen existing drugs. Scientific America. By Katherine Harmon. November 18, 2011
- Blinding Bacteria to Nutrient Deficiency Boosts Sensitivity to Antibiotics. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. November 18, 2011
- From the Science Podcast: an interview with Dao Nguyen on why starved bacteria resist antibiotics.