Monday, February 27, 2012

0 Blog Log: Spirochetes Unwound On Persisters

Well, our favorite spirochete blogger has posted about the magic of antibiotic tolerance today - an apropos choice for this evening's post to follow on the heels of the discussion about Embers et al paper, "Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Rhesus Macaques following Antibiotic Treatment of Disseminated Infection".

While this entry on persisters in Spirochetes Unwound is not specifically about Borrelia, it is an interesting read for those who wish to learn more about the mechanisms related to antibiotic tolerance and how some bacteria can be dormant and survive its wrath.

"Bactericidal antibiotics are effective at killing proliferating bacteria as long as they don't carry mutated or acquired genes that encode resistance to the antibiotics. Unfortunately even antibiotic-sensitive bacteria can tolerate antibiotics under some circumstances. Bacteria that are in a nondividing "dormant" state often survive antibiotic exposure. When the antibiotic is removed and growth resumes, the bacteria regain susceptibility to antibiotics.

At first glance antibiotic tolerance appears to be a passive process in which nondividing cells survive simply because the target of the antibiotic is inactive. However, this is not correct. Antibiotic tolerance requires an active response by the bacteria. The nondividing bacteria that survive antibiotic treatment are called persisters. Persisters may account for infections that are difficult to eradicate with antibiotics..."

Read more here:


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