[Prevent bacteria from communicating: Divide and cure].

Research paper by S S Mion, B B Rémy, L L Plener, E E Chabrière, D D Daudé

Indexed on: 31 Mar '18Published on: 31 Mar '18Published in: Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises


Quorum Sensing (QS) is a communication system used by numerous bacteria to synchronize their behavior according to the cell density. In this way, bacteria secrete and sense small mediating molecules, called autoinducers (AI), which concentration increases in the environment proportionally to bacterial cell number. QS induces major physiological and phenotypic changes such as virulence induction and biofilm formation. Biofilm represents a physical barrier which shelters bacteria poorly sensitive to antimicrobial treatments and favors the apparition of resistance mechanisms. Disturbing QS is referred to as quorum quenching (QQ). This strategy is used by microorganisms themselves to prevent the development of specific group behaviors. Two strategies are mainly employed: the use of quorum sensing inhibitors (QSI) and of quorum quenching enzymes (QQE) that degrades AI. Many studies have been dedicated to identifying QSI (natural or synthetic) as well as QQE and demonstrating their anti-virulence and anti-biofilm effects on numerous bacterial species. Synergistic effects between QQ and traditional treatments such as antibiotherapy or with reemerging phage therapy have been put forward. The efficiency of numerous QSI and QQE was thereby demonstrated either with in vitro or in vivo animal models leading to the development of medical devices containing QSI and QQE to improve already existing treatments. Copyright © 2018 Académie Nationale de Pharmacie. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.