Understanding colonization and persistence in bacterial social networking
Bacteria can colonize both living and non-living surfaces, leading to the development of a microbial community. However, the manner in which different types of bacterial cells interact with each other in such densely-populated zones is poorly understood. One possibility for interaction can be found in aggregates of related cells that become connected to each other via networks of tubes made of material from their respective surfaces.
Dr Islam’s research group will examine the mechanisms used by these cells to remodel their surfaces in order to generate connection tubes. Through understanding this phenomenon, it will ultimately be possible to apply this knowledge towards developing microbe-centric therapies and therapeutics to target and disrupt the systems responsible for bacterial surface remodeling. By minimizing the ability of bacteria to colonize and persist in biological settings, health outcomes for patients with both acute and chronic infections will be improved.