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Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2014 Jan 31;4:8. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2014.00008. eCollection 2014.

Pathogen intelligence.

Author information

1
Institut für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität Braunschweig Braunschweig, Germany.

Abstract

Different species inhabit different sensory worlds and thus have evolved diverse means of processing information, learning and memory. In the escalated arms race with host defense, each pathogenic bacterium not only has evolved its individual cellular sensing and behavior, but also collective sensing, interbacterial communication, distributed information processing, joint decision making, dissociative behavior, and the phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneity necessary for epidemiologic success. Moreover, pathogenic populations take advantage of dormancy strategies and rapid evolutionary speed, which allow them to save co-generated intelligent traits in a collective genomic memory. This review discusses how these mechanisms add further levels of complexity to bacterial pathogenicity and transmission, and how mining for these mechanisms could help to develop new anti-infective strategies.

KEYWORDS:

biofilm; cooperative behavior; dormancy; heterogeneity; information processing; learning; memory; pathogen intelligence

PMID:
24551600
PMCID:
PMC3907765
DOI:
10.3389/fcimb.2014.00008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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