Encontros Scientia

Encontro Scientia | The power of dying slowly: the ecology of indirect resistance to antibiotics

Encontro Scientia with Francisco Dionísio (Evolutionary Ecology)

12 January 2023 . 12h00
Room 2.2.14, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

With indirect resistance, discovered about seventy years ago, resistant cells degrade a bactericidal antibiotic and allow neighbouring antibiotic-susceptible cells to survive. However, despite its apparent simplicity, a fundamental question remains: What process enables susceptible cells to stay alive while the medium is still toxic?

I’ll discuss the role of three mechanisms. After showing with experimental data and simulations that survival has no connection with the probability that sensitive and resistant cells grow very close to each other and no association with gene transfer between cells, I’ll show the critical role of bacterial persistence. Persistence, another phenomenon discovered about seventy years ago, recently became a hot topic in microbiology because it allows the survival of drug-susceptible bacteria to survive for very long periods. This work on indirect resistance gave peculiar and unexpected indications about how bacterial persistence evolved.

Join us IN PERSON (FCUL Room 2.2.14) or, if you are located in Azores or at MUHNAC, by Zoom (https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/98267691421?pwd=cDQ0ZElFQjgvR2dZT1FlWXpNN051dz09; Password: 897448)!

We have been experiencing some technical issues regarding the authentication/connection to the Zoom platform through FCCN. For that, we apologise for any difficulties during the transmission.