Schematische Repräsentation von Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bild: AG Böttcher

Disrupting communication in infectious bacteria

Chemists in Konstanz inhibit the biosynthesis of a bacterial signal and, as a result, block the infectious properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the most common germ found in health care facilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers Pseudomonas aeruginosa a germ requiring urgent action to prevent and control its spread. The bacteria can cause a variety of diseases from chronic lung infections to sepsis. As a result of its increasing resistance to many antibiotics, such infections are often life-threatening. Instead of trying to develop a new antibiotic to combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa, chemist Dr Thomas Böttcher and his team in Konstanz  have focused their research efforts on inhibiting virulence factors in the germ. These include toxins and other agents which benefit the infection process. To this aim, the research team developed a technique which is able to measure the inhibition of enzymes directly in a living cell. The method is described in the current issue of the renowned Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). Read more...