Single cell growth rate and morphological dynamics revealing an "opportunistic" persistence

Li, B., Qiu, Y., Glidle, A., Cooper, J. , Shi, H. and Yin, H. (2014) Single cell growth rate and morphological dynamics revealing an "opportunistic" persistence. Analyst, 139(13), pp. 3305-3313. (doi:10.1039/C4AN00170B)

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Abstract

Bacteria persistence is a well-known phenomenon, where a small fraction of cells in an isogenic population are able to survive high doses of antibiotic treatment. Since the persistence is often associated with single cell behaviour, the ability to study the dynamic response of individual cells to antibiotics is critical. In this work, we developed a gradient microfluidic system that enables long-term tracking of single cell morphology under a wide range of inhibitor concentrations. From time-lapse images, we calculated bacterial growth rates based on the variations in cell mass and in cell number. Using E. coli and Comamonas denitrificans to amoxicillin inhibition as model systems, we found the IC50 determined via both methods are in a good agreement. Importantly, the growth rates together with morphological dynamics of individual cells has led to the discovery of a new form of persistence to amoxicillin. Normal cells that are sensitive to amoxicillin gain persistence or recover from the killing process, if they have had an opportunity to utilise the cytoplasm released from lysed cells close-by. We term this acquired persistence in normal growing cells “opportunistic persistence”. This finding might shed new insights into biofilm resistance and the effect of antibiotics on environmental microbes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yin, Professor Huabing and Glidle, Dr Andrew and Cooper, Professor Jonathan
Authors: Li, B., Qiu, Y., Glidle, A., Cooper, J., Shi, H., and Yin, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Analyst
Publisher:R S C Publications
ISSN:0003-2654
ISSN (Online):1364-5528
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Analyst 139(13):3305-3313
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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