Dr. Elena Piletska of Cranfield University and colleagues have come up with an innovative new technology to help control bacterial virulence and biofilm production – a method unlikely to induce resistance that could reduce nosocomial infections significantly. The group has developed a new polymer designed to attenuate quorum sensing by bacteria. This is based on the observation that bacteria are able to sense population density (quorum sensing) and use signaling molecules dependent on that information to regulate virulence and biofilm production. By creating a polymer that absorbs these signaling molecules, the expression of virulence genes could be reduced or prevented completely.
The group suggests that the polymer could be applied to various surfaces, e.g. prostheses or catheters, and that specific polymers could be developed to target problematic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus.
Full text in Biomacromolecules: Attenuation of Vibrio fischeri Quorum Sensing Using Rationally Designed Polymers
American Chemical Society : New plastic-like materials may say ‘shhhh’ to hush disease-causing microbes…