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Hancock Lab Demonstrates the Role of a Bacterial Starvation Response in Wound Infections

By March 19, 2018No Comments

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious global threat, causing treatment of even minor infections to become challenging and expensive1. When bacteria are starved or stressed, they can become resistant to antibiotics through activation of certain stress response pathways. This leads to decreased bacterial metabolism, biofilm formation, increased production of virulence factors, and ultimately a bacterial growth state that is more resilient and harder to treat2. In a recent publication in Frontiers in Microbiology, members of the Hancock lab explored the importance of a specific stress response called the stringent response, and its mechanism in infection and virulence of a notoriously drug resistant pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Their research indicates that this stringent response plays a large role in skin infections, and that treatment with specific small peptides can target the stringent response to inhibit the adaptive bacterial behaviour, thereby overcoming resistance and virulence in deep skin infections.