The delegation was part of working visit by McGill University and the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4). Presentations were on selected research topics related to infection including global health, the role of microbiota in infections and personalized medicine.
Did you know that dragonfly wings are naturally antibacterial?
Biofilms are colonies of bacteria that can attach securely to the surface of certain medical devices. Shockingly, a quarter of all nosocomial infections are reported to be associated with the use of infected equipment, based on American data.
RI-MUHC researcher Dao Nguyen shares some thoughts on combatting biofilms in this short article from Quebec Science. Her research team is looking at the wings of dragonflies and cicadas to better design safe antibacterial materials. Nanometric structures on dragaonfly and cicada wings actually kill bacteria by physical contact. Therefore, there is great interest to design and develop antibacterial materials that mimic this natural structure.
The research team will observe interactions between bacteria and these newly designed materials, then test the most promising against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria responsible for hospital-acquired infections as well as fatal infections in people with cystic fibrosis. It has an ability to form biofilms and is naturally resistant to many drugs.
If the results are conclusive, the materials may eventually be used on a large scale to make safer medical devices and instruments.
Read the full article here (in French).
Congratulations to Dorival Martins Jr, postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry, McGill University (supervisor: Dr. Dao Nguyen) for his Relève étoile Jacques-Genest award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) for the month of July.
Winning article: Martins D, McKay G, Sampathkumar G, Khakimova M, English AM, Nguyen D. Superoxide dismutase activity confers (p)ppGpp-mediated antibiotic tolerance to stationary-phase Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2018 Sep 25;115(39):9797-9802. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804525115. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 30201715
Read the full news release here.
Dr. Dao Nguyen’s research team discovered that there are variants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (LasR), a bacteria commonly found in Cystic Fibrosis patients, that can cause a lot of inflammation. The study was published in Science Advances 2015. In some cases, that inflammation leads to the need for lung transplants. Nguyen’s team is the first to make the connection between the bacteria and inflammation. (August 2015)
View articles and interviews about this research:
Dr. Dao Nguyen investigated the behavior of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common bacteria in patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Her research identified that when bacteria are starved, they develop a starvation-signaling stringent response, which allows them to better adapt and survive. This research showed that inactivating this protective mechanism can sensitize biofilms to various antibiotics, thus providing new insights on the mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance.
View the full publication here: Active starvation responses mediate antibiotic tolerance in biofilms and nutrient-limited bacteria. Nguyen D, Joshi-Datar A, Lepine F, Bauerle E, Olakanmi O, Beer K, McKay G, Siehnel R, Schafhauser J, Wang Y, Britigan BE, Singh PK. Science. 2011 Nov 18;334(6058):982-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1211037. PMID: 22096200