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Science. 2006 Jul 7;313(5783):89-92.

Antibiotic stress induces genetic transformability in the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Génétique Moléculaires, UMR 5100 CNRS-Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
16825569
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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