Friday, 2 December 2016

Predatory bacteria and antibiotics

Predatory bacteria secrete enzymes that target specific cellular features of prey bacteria, such as peptidoglycan on the cell wall, which ultimately kills the cells. Yet considering that there are often structural similarities between predatory and prey bacteria, how are predatory bacteria not killed by their own weapons? This phenomenon has recently been elucidated in a Nature Communications report: Bdellovibrio bacteriovirus bacteria express a protein, Bd3460, which neutralizes the toxic enzyme until it has been secreted from the cell. How can these findings help us combat antimicrobial resistance?

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle