Antibiotic stress induces genetic transformability in the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Prudhomme M, Attaiech L, Sanchez G, Martin B, Claverys JP
Science (2006)
Category: transformation ¤ Added: Jul 30, 2006 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Natural transformation is a widespread mechanism for genetic exchange in bacteria. Aminoglycoside and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as well as mitomycin C, a DNA-damaging agent, induced transformation in Streptococcus pneumoniae. This induction required an intact competence regulatory cascade. Furthermore, mitomycin C induction of recA was strictly dependent on the development of competence. In response to antibiotic stress, S. pneumoniae, which lacks an SOS-like system, exhibited genetic transformation. The design of antibiotherapy should take into consideration this potential of a major human pathogen to increase its rate of genetic exchange in response to antibiotics.