1932

Abstract

Persisters are nongrowing, transiently antibiotic-tolerant bacteria within a clonal population of otherwise susceptible cells. Their formation is triggered by environmental cues and involves the main bacterial stress response pathways that allow persisters to survive many harsh conditions, including antibiotic exposure. During infection, bacterial pathogens are exposed to a vast array of stresses in the host and form nongrowing persisters that survive both antibiotics and host immune responses, thereby most likely contributing to the relapse of many infections. While antibiotic persisters have been extensively studied over the last decade, the bulk of the work has focused on how these bacteria survive exposure to drugs in vitro. The ability of persisters to survive their interaction with a host is important yet underinvestigated. In order to tackle the problem of persistence of infections that contribute to the worldwide antibiotic resistance crisis, efforts should be made by scientific communities to understand and merge these two fields of research: antibiotic persisters and host-pathogen interactions. Here we give an overview of the history of the field of antibiotic persistence, report evidence for the importance of persisters in infection, and highlight studies that bridge the two areas.

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2019-09-08
2024-04-20
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