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Title: Selective labelling and eradication of antibiotic-tolerant bacterial populations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms
Authors: Chua, Song Lin
Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong
Hao, Piliang
Adav, Sunil S.
Salido, May Margarette
Liu, Yang
Givskov, Michael
Sze, Siu Kwan
Tolker-Nielsen, Tim
Yang, Liang
Keywords: Biofilms
Bacterial Infection
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Chua, S. L., Yam, J. K. H., Hao, P., Adav, S. S., Salido, M. M., Liu, Y., et al. (2016). Selective labelling and eradication of antibiotic-tolerant bacterial populations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Nature Communications, 7, 10750-.
Series/Report no.: Nature Communications
Abstract: Drug resistance and tolerance greatly diminish the therapeutic potential of antibiotics against pathogens. Antibiotic tolerance by bacterial biofilms often leads to persistent infections, but its mechanisms are unclear. Here we use a proteomics approach, pulsed stable isotope labelling with amino acids (pulsed-SILAC), to quantify newly expressed proteins in colistin-tolerant subpopulations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms (colistin is a ‘last-resort’ antibiotic against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens). Migration is essential for the formation of colistin-tolerant biofilm subpopulations, with colistin-tolerant cells using type IV pili to migrate onto the top of the colistin-killed biofilm. The colistin-tolerant cells employ quorum sensing (QS) to initiate the formation of new colistin-tolerant subpopulations, highlighting multicellular behaviour in antibiotic tolerance development. The macrolide erythromycin, which has been previously shown to inhibit the motility and QS of P. aeruginosa, boosts biofilm eradication by colistin. Our work provides insights on the mechanisms underlying the formation of antibiotic-tolerant populations in bacterial biofilms and indicates research avenues for designing more efficient treatments against biofilm-associated infections.
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10750
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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