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    Antibiotic-surviving bacteria
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    Antibiotic-surviving bacteria


    Colonies of bacteria growing despite high concentrations of antibiotics. These colonies are visible both by eye, as seen on the left, and by bioluminescence imaging, as seen on the right. The bioluminescent color indicates the metabolic activity of these bacteria, with their red centers indicating high metabolism.

    More information about the research that produced this image can be found in the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy paper “Novel aminoglycoside-tolerant phoenix colony variants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Sindeldecker et al.
    Public NoteAlt text: On the left, a petri dish with many round colonies of bacteria around its perimeter. On the right, a petri dish with bioluminescent bacterial colonies with bright red centers and green to blue perimeters.
    Internal NoteColonies of bacteria emerge and are able to grow despite the presence of high concentrations of antibiotics. These colonies are visible both by bioluminescence imaging using an In Vitro Imaging System (IVIS) as well as by eye as demonstrated here. The IVIS was used primarily to allow us to see any changes in the metabolism of the colonies. Since the strain that we used (P. aeruginosa Xen41) is bioluminescent due to a metabolically driven Lux cassette, it allowed us to see whether or not the bacteria were still metabolically active during antibiotic exposure. The color gradient also was able to give us a general idea about the level of metabolic activity present (high vs low). The cells did not need to be labeled due to the Lux cassette present in their genome. The colonies that emerge represent four different phenotypes. We found classically resistant colonies, persister cell colonies (enter a state of dormancy to allow antibiotic survival), and two other variants for which the mechanism of survival is still unclear but under investigation. The two other variants are viable but non-culturable colonies (able to grow in the original environment but unable to be cultured otherwise) and pheonix colonies which grow in this high concentration of antibiotics but once cultured return to a wild-type level of antibiotic susceptibility. Dear Abbey, I would be happy to share. We do have some really nice movies of Staph. aureus aggregating in synovial fluid as well as electron micrographs of staph. on orthopaedic surfaces. It is unpublished but we are in the process of submitting. Paul. Paul Stoodley, PhD. Director, Campus Microscopy and Imaging Facility (CMIF) Professor, Departments of Microbial Infection and Immunity and Orthopedics Infectious Diseases Institute, The Ohio State University, 716 Biomedical Research Tower, 460 West 12th Avenue, Columbus OH 43210.
    KeywordsAntibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistant, bacterium
    SourcePaul Stoodley, The Ohio State University.
    Credit LineDevin Sindeldecker and Paul Stoodley, The Ohio State University.
    Record TypePhotograph
    Topic Area(s);#Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology;#Tools and Techniques;#
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Antibiotic-Surviving Colonies_M.jpg
Medium191 KB 1/20/2022 1:26 PMCrowley, Rachel (NIH/NIGMS) [E]
Antibiotic-Surviving Colonies_S.jpg
Low40 KB 1/20/2022 1:26 PMCrowley, Rachel (NIH/NIGMS) [E]
Antibiotic-Surviving Colonies_thumbnail.jpg
Thumbnail2 KB 1/20/2022 1:26 PMCrowley, Rachel (NIH/NIGMS) [E]
Antibiotic-Surviving Colonies.tif
High7604 KB 1/20/2022 1:25 PMCrowley, Rachel (NIH/NIGMS) [E]

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