Episode Summary

A probiotic strain of E. coli can target and destroy pathogens that survive a treatment of antibiotics!

Microbe of the episode:

Streptomyces griseoruber

Jesse's takeaways

Antibiotic resistance is becoming more and more of a problem as bacterial pathogens develop resistance to more and more drugs. For some people who develop an infection that is resistant to everything, it's as if they were living back in the days before antibiotics were discovered, when all they could do was pray for survival. New antibiotics are needed, but even more needed are new ways of approaching treatment of infections, using innovative approaches and combinations of therapeutics.

In this study, a probiotic strain of Escherichia coli was used to target potentially pathogenic E. coli bacteria that can survive treatment with a particularly effective type of antibiotic, fluoroquinolones. This probiotic strain, called Nissle, delivers toxins directly to the survivors, preventing resistant pathogens from proliferating.

Journal Paper

Hare PJ, Englander HE, Mok WWK. 2022. Probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 inhibits bacterial persisters that survive fluoroquinolone treatment. J Appl Microbiol 132:4020–4032.

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Probiotic Pulverizes Pathogen Persisters