The Social Life of Bacteria
It has long been believed that bacteria are solitary organisms that rarely interact with each other. But it is now known that bacteria like to live in communities.
Dr. Éric Déziel, Canada Research Chair in Socio-microbiology, is studying the language and social life of bacteria, to better understand the mechanisms they use to organize and structure themselves. Bacteria communicate with one another when they consider it is beneficial to act as a group to eat, move, invade, adapt or simply to multiply, a move that can result in numerous serious infections.
Déziel is working on new treatment methods that would disrupt communication between bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, such treatments would pose little risk in promoting the emergence of resistant strains.
He is focusing on the bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa, a widespread and opportunistic pathogen that is resistant to antibiotics and is a major source of hospital-acquired infections.
Déziel’s research could result in alternative and ingenious anti-infectious treatments to fight infections.