Download Probing Prokaryotic Social Behaviors with Bacterial Lobster Traps

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The survival of pathogens in the human body has been rigorously studied for well over a
century. Bacteria are able to colonize, persist and thrive in vivo due to an array of
capabilities, including the ability to attach to host tissues, produce extracellular virulence
factors, and evade the immune system. Most bacterial pathogenesis studies have
focused on mono-culture infections; however, it is clear that many bacterial infections
are not simply the result of colonization with a single species, but rather ensue from the
actions of polymicrobial communities. Microbes within polymicrobial infections often
display synergistic interactions that result in enhanced colonization and persistence in
the infection site, although the molecular processes controlling these synergistic
interactions are generally not known. Here, I will discuss how interactions between
biofilm bacteria impact community development, resistance to host innate immunity, and
in vivo persistence. I will also discuss the use of novel technologies for probing bacterial
interactions in small biofilm populations.