Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic inNature Communications wanted to understand how microbes aide people in resolving illness.
During gene transfer to the intestinal tract of animal models, strains of bacterium Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis), a common bacterring, have been observed. When E. faecalis becomes imbalanced in the body, it can cause inflammation in the GI tract.
According to Professor Gary Dunny, adherent microcolonies on the surface of the intestine are a key ingredient for cell-cell signaling and plasmid transfer.
According to a study, the following findings were made:
- the pCF10 plasmid increases competitive fitness of bacteria unrelated to antibiotic resistance;
- an intracellular signaling system regulating plasmid transfer functions in GI tract; and,
- that small bacterial biofilms on the intestinal surface function as an important niche for signaling and plasmid transfer.
This research revealed a significant relationship between a plasmid and its host bacteria to colonize and maintain in the environment, as well as the importance of a communication between bacterial cells.
Antibiotics are the go-to treatment when someone has a bacterial infection. Interfering with bacterial signaling might be a helpful way to prevent or treat hospital infections without direct increasing antibiotic resistance, according to Dunny.
The researchers recommend that the use of genetic approaches is further investigated to determine the mechanisms of in vivo signaling and plasmid transfer.