All roads lead to Rome: Confronting antibiotic resistant bacteria with unconventional strategies


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    For decades, antibiotics have been effective tools to treat bacterial infections, reducing mortality rates and improving the overall quality of life of people. Yet, antibiotics are not ‘immune’ to problems, since bacteria can adapt and acquire antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in many different ways. Consequently, we are currently experiencing a serious increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria, which challenge the effective and sustainable use of all available antibiotics.
    The PhD research presented in this thesis explored unconventional strategies to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria following four lines. A first part addressed the possibility to chemically modify existing antibiotics, especially aminoglycosides, to surpass current bacterial resistance mechanisms that challenge their efficacy. Secondly, the efficacy of gaseous disinfection approaches based on elevated oxygen concentrations was investigated and compared to that of common liquid disinfectants. A third approach to fight AMR bacteria relied on the use of another bacterium, Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, which is a predator that effectively eliminates other bacteria. Here, particular attention was given to the properties of multi-drug resistant ‘prey’, aiming to understand which factors can cause differences in their susceptibility to predation of B. bacteriovorus. A final line of investigations addressed the response mechanisms that bacteria field when challenged with antibiotics produced by other bacteria, the so-called bacteriocins, or by humans.
    Altogether, the results described in this thesis provide new insights in the diverse opportunities that can still be offered by more conventional chemical antibiotic molecules and the new opportunities offered by ‘biological antibiotics’ in the shape of bacterial predators.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • van Dijl, Jan Maarten, Supervisor
    • Friedrich, Alex, Supervisor
    • Glasner, Corinna, Co-supervisor
    Datum van toekenning27-jun-2022
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2022

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