Bacterial shapeshifting: Escherichia coli differentiation during urinary tract infection

  • Date: Jan 18, 2016
  • Time: 13:15
  • Speaker: Dr. Jakob Møller-Jensen
  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark
  • Location: MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Dr. Simon Ringgaard
  • Contact: simon.ringgaard@mpi-marburg.mpg.de
Urinary tract infections are caused primarily by uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli (UPEC). UPEC is known to transition through a series of distinct infection stages, displaying reversible morphological differentiation along the way. Initial steps involve bladder invasion by rod-shaped bacteria to establish intracellular bacterial communities consisting of coccoid cells. Subsequently, during exit from infected cells, UPEC regain their rod-shape and in some cases even form large filaments. Using a flow-chamber based tissue culture infection model we have studied UPEC gene expression during the course of infection. Our results reveal a novel SOS-independent mechanism of reversible cell-division control.
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