Episode Summary

Predatory bacteria could protect lobster farms from disease-causing bacteria!

Microbe of the episode:

Gordonia rubripertincta

Jesse's takeaways

Antibiotics have done wonders for controlling bacterial pathogens. Many people have lived that would otherwise have died, and some industries have produced much more than they would have, particularly those involved in animal farming. However, more and more targeted pathogens are developing resistance to the antibiotics we have, and new ones are harder to discover, so alternative approaches are needed.

Here, predatory bacteria take the place of antibiotics in a study on farmed spiny lobsters. These predators swim after and attach to prey bacteria, hollowing out their contents to use as nutrients to make more predators. They do not hurt the lobsters, but the study finds they do reduce the number of pathogenic prey organisms injected into the lobsters at the same time.

Journal Paper

Ooi MC, Goulden EF, Smith GG, Bridle ARY 2021. 2021. Predatory bacteria in the haemolymph of the cultured spiny lobster Panulirus ornatus. Microbiology 167:001113.

Other interesting stories:

Halobacteriovorax predator cells By Ooi et al, 2021