A Historical Perspective on Bacterial Persistence

Bactericidal antibiotics quickly kill the majority of a bacterial population. However, a small fraction of cells typically survive through entering the so-called persister state. Persister cells are increasingly being viewed as a major cause of the recurrence of chronic infectious disease and could be an important factor in the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The phenomenon of persistence was first described in the 1940s, but remained poorly understood for decades afterwards. Only recently, a series of breakthrough discoveries has started to shed light on persister physiology and the molecular and genetic underpinnings of persister formation. We here provide an overview of the key studies that have paved the way for the current boom in persistence research, with a special focus on the technological and methodological advances that have enabled this progress.
Source: Springer protocols feed by Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: news